Back To School, Back To School

I found out today that I have been accepted into the Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary.  So, I’m going back to school.  By choice.  And because I want to have a big impact on the world.  This decision has been in process for at least 6 years, which happens to be the last time that I applied to Fuller.

6 years.

I’ve hesitated for 6 years because of many things.  One main reason is that I don’t believe much in credentials.  I don’t believe that a Master’s of Divinity proves anything about a person’s ability to successfully lead, pastor, and teach a church (my friend/pastor Charlie pokes fun at his degree all the time).  Unfortunately, the church doesn’t see eye to eye with me on this.

Credentials unfortunately matter.

But, I don’t want a Master’s of Divinity.  I don’t care about most of the things that are lumped into that degree program, whether at Fuller, Dallas, Moody, or Loyola of Chicago.  I think its an antiquated degree that the church still finds to be of utmost importance in proving one’s calling and ability to be a pastor.  But I don’t buy it (no offense to all of my close friends who have this degree).

There’s this deep-seeded belief in me that the things the world thinks are important are not really that important.  So, I’m attempting to blaze a new trail in this endeavor.  I want to be a pastor.  I believe that’s what I am supposed to do, and in so many ways I am already doing it.  And that’s cool.  I don’t need a title to do what I am supposed to be doing.  I learned that the hard way (a long story I won’t get into here).

But, I also know that there is WAY more that I could do, and I know that I don’t know everything that I need to know and have not been challenged in ways that I think I need to be challenged in order to accomplish the things that I could do.

So, I’m going back to school, and I am completely uncertain about what happens next.  I’m not getting the “pastor” degree, but I am going to an awesome school that has produced some of the greatest changers in the church today.  That excites me.

This also excites me: When I was a youth pastor for 5 months in 2004 in the northeast corner of California, in a town of 3,000, in a county of 9,000, there was an 8th grader who I believed then had a lot of potential to do great things in the church.  He just posted this today on my Facebook page: “Hey, me and my old youth pastor are going to the same seminary!” That’s sweet, meaning cool and satisfying all at the same time.  9 years later, the former youth pastor and the former 8th grader are studying at the same school to make a difference in the church and the world.  That’s something I will never forget, and feel very proud of.

Further up and further in.

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