This January I’m starting my Master of Arts in Religion at Emmanuel Christian Seminary!

Well, we’re still figuring out the course work that will allow me to do much of it online, and technically I haven’t been accepted yet. But I’m 99% sure it’s going to happen, so I’m sharing the good news today.

I’ve written before about Jen U—my recognition of the need to read more and more widely so I can continue to grow professionally—and about going beyond Jen U—my recognition that I need the structure and instructors of graduate school to really make this happen and to teach me more than what’s in the book.

So I spent much of the summer researching my options: Princeton doesn’t offer a degree I’m interested in, and you have to go full-time, and it costs a batrillion dollars. Drew is awesome but far; two classes x 90 minutes each way = six hours in the car each week. I can get a lot of work done in six hours.

Eastern is another great option, and probably my first choice locally, but they don’t offer an online program that makes sense, and the more I waded into this decision the more I realized my travel schedule pretty much requires the flexibility of doing school online. Westminster Theological Seminary is a little too reformed for me. Cairn University–well, I already went to one little Pennsylvania school no one’s ever heard of.

So this summer I emailed the lovely Teresa Welch at Emmanuel and asked to explore options. They currently have a Master of Christian Ministries degree that’s 100% online, and while some parts of that degree didn’t appeal to me, since it’s geared toward a staff member in the local church, much of it did. We’re working together, along with other gracious ECS faculty and staff, to design an MAR that upholds their rigorous academic standards while providing some flexibility and online options. I’m looking forward to all of it, even the Hebrew and Greek.

As so often on this blog, I’m sharing the news largely so I can pick your brains. Those of you who have been to seminary of any stripe, for any degree—Thoughts? Suggestions? Study tips? Must-dos? Don’t-dos?

And this just in—yesterday afternoon Teresa told me about “Theology, Narrative, and The Well-Written Life,” a reading course exploring spiritual memoirs. “Students are invited to explore the contours of the genre, why it resonates with contemporary readers, and how authors work within the genre to convey theological content and reflection……This course is about learning how personal stories redeem, how to write and speak them, and how to foster environments that bring such stories to life.”

“Would you be interested in taking this?” she asks. Um, let me see, YES.

I’ve never been half this excited about the first day of school.

This entry was posted in resources, RM, work. Bookmark the permalink.