Graduation is coming soon… then what???

Well as the title says… Graduation is coming soon.  For me it will be the culmination of a long academic career which has had two parts over a span of years (1988-1992) and then (2002-2010).  College was relatively easy, so to speak. I took anywhere between 12-16 credit hours and worked almost full-time along with ministry and other pursuits.  I was not an honors student, but I enjoyed college and what I learned.  I managed to put four years into four years and some summer school.

I took a ten year hiatus from academics and worked secularly and in vocational ministry from 1992-2002.  In 2002, I moved to MN to attend seminary and that journey started in 2002 and will culminate Lord willing in May 2010 with my graduation from seminary with my MDiv.  When I graduate in May of 2010, I will have earned my MDiv after eight long years of study.  What has taken me eight years to accomplish, some have done in three or four, but their circumstances were far different than mine.  During these last eight years, I got married (2004),  broke my left foot severely requiring surgery (2005), lost my mother and one infant son, Jonathan David (2006), saw the birth of my other son, Joseph (2006).  I was ready to quit after losing my son and mother, but I was glad for the encouragement that I received along the way from family, friends, and the local church who really ministered to us during these crisis points in our lives.  I am glad that others were there to help me not to quit and to finish the task that I have started.  Along the way, I have made some lifelong friends and have learned some things about myself !  I have had some tremendous opportunities of service in our local church.  I have also seen one pastor retire and a new one come on board during the last few years.

Well, what is next…. honestly I do not know, but the best part is that I am not worried about it.

I have completed and submitted my application for possible post-graduate work at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. I still have to take the GRE.  I am not sure what my chances are in getting accepted.  That is in the Lord’s hands.

I am wondering what the next steps will be for our family, whether it is continuing in education or going off into ministry somewhere.

Will I pastor, serve as an assistant somewhere, go into teaching at the college or seminary level?  I am not exactly sure.  All I know for now is that I have some classes to finish up, get my resume tuned up and ready to submit.  Right now, it hardly seems possible that I will be graduating in approximately seven months, but the time will fly by and before I know it the day will be here.

I have already begun to pray about what the Lord would have us to do as a family and where we will serve.  Yes, I have a short list of “preferred places”, etc.  I had one those in college and none of those ever materialized either.

I am truly happy living where I am (geographically) and I truly love serving in our local church.  But I have trained for full-time vocational ministry and I am not sure if it will be possible to remain here to fulfill God’s call on my life in that regard.   I really like MN except for winter, but I always manage to survive, even though I am not fond of snow or ice.

I am reminded of the passage in Job which tells us, “…stand still and consider the wondrous works of God”



2 responses to “Graduation is coming soon… then what???

  1. Why not stay where God has planted you? Continue to have an impact on the lives around you. Live the gospel, raise your children to be Godly, serve God with all your heart, teaching and training others? You don’t really need more formal education, Terry, you just need to discharge to others what you know. Even if you aren’t putting yourself financially into debt by continuing in school, you are still limiting the time spent with your family. Why not just stay put, work your job, love your family, and love the Lord?

    Not saying to not take opportunities when God opens them up. But a life spent in education will ultimately prove useless and futile if you never share what you learn.

    • Stuart, I have been blessed to be able to serve and impart some of what I have learned while in seminary. However, staying at my secular job is not what God has called me to do. As someone once said, “A call to preach is a call to prepare” Now that I am almost finished with the academic part of the preparation, I am ready to fulfill God’s calling on my life, wherever that will be. If I was just going to stay put, then I could have used the money I spent on seminary for other things…Thanks for commenting

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