In the Steps of a Seminarian

13 Mar

Nine months after my mom took her own life I found myself applying to seminary and receiving a scholarship for the first year’s tuition. I had not grown up being super involved in a church and I had not even read the bible but I was convinced I was meant to study theology. And indeed I was.

A masters in divinity is a three year degree even when going full time so when pursuing it while working, people inevitably take much longer. Likewise, this is a second masters for me so borrowing lots of money to do the degree more quickly isn’t an option. Thus, I am at the half way point (perhaps more than half-way if I switch over to the masters in theology with a concentration in biblical studies). All of the hard and tedious classes are out of the way. I’m done with Greek and Hebrew and exegetical methods. I could take a NT and OT book in the original language but besides those two courses, the rest will be much more smooth sailing. And so here I pause and take a quarter off because as Maria was told in the “Sound of Music” when asked to leave the convent – right now – God’s work for me is elsewhere and out in the big world.

I like the world of the convent. I like the quiet of a library. I like classes where the teacher opens in prayer and I like studying things of a deep and spiritual nature. I like wrestling with history, literature and philosophy and ethics and spirituality. Seminary has been a safe and organizing place for me post my mother’s suicide. It has been a sanctuary despite the hard work and stress it has put me under.

I just finished my Hebrew class. I received an A. And as relieved as I am to know that I don’t have to study anymore – I can surf and work and write my book and love my boyfriend – I am deeply sad. For the seminarian walks on a special path that can’t really be explained. I don’t know what compels those of us to study the Word even if we eventually decide we have no intention of even working in a church. It just is.

So I stand on the steps not knowing how long I pause or if I’ll make it to the top but what a journey this has been thus far. Thank you Fuller for helping me get through my mother’s death and for helping me walk deeper with God.

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