As part of the application process for the Master of Theological Studies program, I had to provide a “personal statement”. An outline was provided so that specific areas were covered. The document was to be one page, so, lots of things get left out in trying to be both brief and cover the required topics.
Here is what I sent them:
As a Christian and a member of the Christian Reformed denomination, I have always had a desire to increase my knowledge of God, the church, theology, and ministry. I have been active in many roles in the churches I have attended over the years. The most fulfilling have been those roles that allow me to teach others. For the past 10 years I have had the privilege of teaching the creeds and confessions of the CRC to our teenage members. I also lead worship services, from time to time as a lay preacher. The satisfaction that comes from these roles leaves me feeling led to turn more of my attention in that direction.
Over the past couple of years, I have come to realize that the career I am currently in does not provide the meaning and purpose that I am looking for. While I do not intend to change careers in the very near future, the completion of the MTS degree may open doors that are currently not apparent. I may pursue the pastoral counseling specialty, but as a part time student, I will not need to make that decision right away.
Areas of special interests would include church history, the creeds of the church, and the application of Christian principles and world view to real life situations.
My learning style is flexible leaning toward verbal and logical. I love words and phrases and love to communicate through both the written and spoken word. I enjoy public speaking and love to use new words and phases. I also learn logically. I see and look for patterns in situations and the world around me. I work through problems and issues in a systematic way and use systems over and over again.
I have a number of strengths as a student perusing the MTS degree. I am mature and bring a lot of life experience to the classroom. My wide life experience has led me from sales and marketing to running my own business to the management position that I currently hold. These experiences have formed me to be the person that I am and allow me to bring many things to life as it happens. My experience in my church has exposed me to theology in the trenches. Teaching youth leads to answering tough questions from young minds. In some cases these questions have led me to study and research so that I can form a logical explanation to their inquiries.
When talking to young people about their career goals and educational choices, they often speak of trying to find “God’s will for their lives”, but struggle with what it looks like. I often tell them that God wires us in a way that allows us to fulfill his will and the thing they love doing the most, that they are the best at, is likely where God’s will lies. I love theology, thinking about how God works, thinking about how it all fits together. I know I am being lead in this direction and I know that as I move through these studies the next step will become clear when it needs to be seen.
This post along with its sister Personal Statement 2 has become the most popular post on this blog. I am intrigued and would like to know more about you, the seekers. Please drop me a note in the comment box letting me know a little about your journey. Journeying together makes the trip seem easier. Thanks for visiting.