Yesterday I had some correspondence regarding my continued education, as I’m strongly considering either doing a ThD or a PhD program. Wading through a variety of programs has been kind of exhausting.

I have to really think about my goals. If I intend to teach at an academic institution, I basically have to transition from pastoral life to the academic world and seriously consider moving (Aberdeen?). But if I intend to remain a pastor, I need to find a non-residential program (Greenwich, Regent, Fuller, RITS?).

So what’s my goal: I want to continue developing what I call “academic excellence.” It seems like a lot of pastors transition from seminary training and get caught up in pastoral ministry and lose many of the skills that they gained (Greek or theological reflection, for example!). I want to continue learning and I think I probably need some sort of program to keep that directed. And I believe this will actually help me continue in what I call “Pastoral growth.” Thinking theologically is an act of worship, or it certainly should be! Not all thinking is worship-minded, but Jesus did say to love the Lord with all our mind. Thus, intellectual reflection can be an act of worship (more on this in later posts).

I want to remain faithful in study and faithful as a pastor. And I’m quite certain I am called to the congregation I’m at for a long, long time. I think churches fair best when pastors remain long term. But I also want to continue to research and stretch myself in the academic realm.

At any rate, I’ve narrowed down an area of research, so I’m pretty excited about that.

Back to your regularly scheduled broadcast…

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