Since every day a little of our life is taken from us-since we are dying every day-the final hour when we cease to exist does not bring death; it merely completes the death process. Paul Tillich, The Courage to Be (pg 14)
How’s that for a cheery beginning to a new semester? Profound words from a great theologian used in last night’s class. Words which could be a bit of a theme for this coming semester.
I am coming to the end of my MDiv program. twelve weeks from now, I will no longer be able to identify myself as a full time student, I’ll be a graduate. Its happened little by little since the first class in September of 2009 and suddenly the end is in sight. I’m not sure how I feel about the end. My identity is going to change again. Figuring out next steps becomes more pressing with each passing week.
I’ve dropped back to part time status at the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary since I’m only taking two courses there. I had intended to take two more, but the schedule just wouldn’t fit very well. I will still have two more courses than I actually need for the degree by the end of the semester. The courses I’m taking will likely colour my state of mind for a while as well. Congregational Preaching begins with the funeral service. I’m also taking Grief Crisis and Pastoral care. Both courses cover necessary skills, but neither are very upbeat, exciting, topics.
An online course on Reformed creeds and confessions, theoretically, leaves me in the full time student category. The workload will be different than past semesters though. At this point, I don’t have the early semester “how can I do all this” angst.
I am opening another door by applying to complete an MA in Theological Studies. The MDiv gives me advanced standing (meaning less course work) in the program and I have already got a couple of extra courses to bring to the program. My level of effort toward this degree will really depend on what life’s journey brings in the fall. By getting into the program I will have some choices. There will be at least couple of semesters of work, but, it doesn’t feel like we’ll put whatever doors the MDiv opens on hold to finish the second degree.
I really do like being a student…..