It’s been a while since I wrote last (again…sorry about that!), but I wanted to take a few minutes to provide you with a quick life update.
I’m starting grad school tomorrow!
It’s a decision that has been in the making for a while, but I keep forgetting to tell people, so I figured I would tell the Internet and it can tell everyone else.
I’ll be getting a master’s in Christian Education through an online program at Dallas Theological Seminary. And since it’s the first question most people ask, no, my goal isn’t really to teach in a classroom setting.
The core of the program is made up of Bible and theology classes, with a few teaching classes thrown in. I’m not sure where I’ll end up after I finish the program (and that will be a while since I’m only taking classes part-time), but my hope is that all of these classes will be very useful in preparing me to teach and explain the Bible more clearly, whether that be to kids in after-school or through writing or in some other context that I haven’t yet imagined.
I was reading this article by Ann Voskamp a few weeks ago, in which she describes asking a pastor what the greatest challenge the church is facing right now.
“Biblical literacy,” he said.
That struck me. My initial decision to look into grad school was spurred by a young adult conference I attended toward the beginning of this year. Though I truly believe the speakers were teaching out of a place of personal study of God’s Word, most of them barely bothered to open the Bible they were teaching about. I came away wondering how many attendees would go home on fire for God only to have no foundation to fall back on when things got hard.
“When there is an illiteracy of His Word, there’s a warped reading of everything,” Ann said in her blog post. “When there is a daily reading of God—we can read all the crazy of life. Read God—and you can read life.”
I would agree. Without a personal knowledge of His Word, it’s all too easy to read whatever we want into various life situations. To say, “God must not care what happens to me because this or that happened [or this or that didn’t happen].” Or, “It doesn’t matter if I do x, y, z, because God wants me to be happy.”
One of the things I’m most grateful to my Christian high school for is how my teachers ingrained in me the idea that I should search out the Scriptures for myself, rather than blindly following any one pastor or teacher’s perspective on a given issue.
For me, the Bible has been my anchor through times of confusion, sorrow, anger or frustration, and joy. I want to learn how to teach it in a way that draws others in to its great Story.
I’ll try to share updates from time to time on here, but if you have questions, I’d love to talk in person or by email too. Thanks to the many of you who have encouraged me in pursuing this goal!
As a side note, I just found this Pew Research article that was published earlier this year showing what Americans believe about the Bible. It’s pretty interesting, so I thought I’d include it here!