Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Back To School

Well it's official. I am now a college student....again. Why did I decide to go back to school? It certainly wasn't to get a degree or to be a graduate student. I finished graduate school over 10 years ago. Things were quite a bit different back then. I did not have any children and my employer permitted me to attend school on duty. I was not involved in a ministry, active in a church, teaching on the college level, managing a consulting company and not doing many of the things that I am currently involved in.

Needless to say, I was not looking to go back to school but when God gives you a burden you simply cannot ignore it. For over a year I have felt a push to go to Seminary and I have spent much of this last year doing extensive research on schools. I applied at one school locally and was accepted in April and even enrolled but I never attended. It simply did not feel right. The majority of schools I looked at seemed to be offering nothing more than a business degree that had a lot of religion in it. I have no interest in how to grow a big church, etc. My burden was related to one thing. The Gospel of Jesus Christ and how that can be furthered. I continued my research and had just about thought I would not find a school until I came across a school called Reformed Theological Seminary.

After looking at several respected Christian leaders that have graduated and support the University, speaking with Godly men, and actually listening to lectures on I-Tunes, I decided to apply and I was honored to be accepted a few weeks ago.

I have been asked what my goals are and they are simple. I want to continue to study God's Word and continuing to mature in my faith. Some have been surprised when I tell them that my goal is not to get a degree. If that happens that is fine but that is not the reason I am attending school. I am looking forward to being mentored by some wonderful, Godly professors and I believe that RTS will help me with this. Some can do this without school and while I have been very blessed to read and study from many resources, I believe that I will gain even further knowledge about my Savior from a university.

The program that I am enrolled in is a distant education program but it does require some on-campus visits in Charlotte, North Carolina. I take exams locally, required to meet with my pastor four times each class and send in research papers throughout the program. I received the materials for my first class last week, Systematic Theology, and it is challenging. I am required to read several books while listening to all of the lectures via mp3. I certainly have a renewed respect for students of Seminary. You can view my specific program here.

Have you thought about going to Seminary or simply learning yourself using similar resources? Later this week I will give you other options for furthering your knowledge of the Gospel that doesn't involve the cost of college.

1 comment:

Chaplain Ralph said...

Hey Travis,

I was just reading your blog and saw this entry. Let me know when you are going to be in NC and let's see if we can meet together. I'm about 150 miles from Charlotte.