Well, this came in the mail yesterday and I can’t tell you how excited I am to have finally finished this. This represents a lot of hard work and dedication over the last 5 years or so. There were times when I totally felt like quitting, but with the support of a great wife and family – I pushed through those times. I was asked a lot why I choose a non-traditional seminary to obtain my Master of Divinity. In fact, the source for most of these questions (not all) came from traditional seminaries from main line denominations that still believe that the only way to obtain a Master of Divinity is to quit ministry, move to close to the seminary or into seminary housing, go into major debt, put even more strain onto families, and learn from professors that are at least 10 years removed from any type of ministry leadership role (so are you are learning is concepts and theory – not practical applications). That was just not for me to do. My wife and I prayed and sought a long time for a seminary where we did not have to get up and move and where we can actually be in ministry while obtaining a higher degree. Here is what I learned about getting a Master’s degree from a non-trational seminary:
- It takes more dedication and self-discipline in areas such as; reading, writing, and creating margin in life to get an advanced degree in this way rather than a traditional seminary.
- You get to put into practice what you have learned in class, reading, or assignments immediately. The principles are not concepts or theory for a length of time, then you get to attempt to apply after obtaining the degree. You get to see the fruit of your studies and coursework in most cases within a week of learning,
- There was a broader base of people from the rest of the world to learn from. In a lot of my classes, there were people in the foreign mission field that was learning with me. They had a different perspective on many areas of ministry that are often tainted by our breed of Christianity in North America. You cannot get this from a traditional seminary.
- I learned from people like me – in ministry trying to balance life, school, and ministry. This was so refreshing to have this understanding with fellow students and instructors.