The Beginning of a Journey

In some ways I wish I would have started this blog two years ago when I first started my seminary education through CYMT. However that opportunity has passed, so I’ll just have to start with the last year of school and the beginning of my application for Provisional Deacon in The United Methodist Church. I’ll have more time to talk about deep stuff later, but for now I’ll just jump right in and catch you up on where I am.

I’m currently in an airport in Las Vegas, Nevada on my way to Seattle and my flight is delayed. This was my view when I walked off the airplane.


Crazy right? You don’t even have to be going to Vegas and they are going to try to get your money.

So how did I get here? Well that an interesting story. Let me start by giving you some background details on my seminary program. The program I am in has classes through Memphis Theological Seminary. We go about once every 6 weeks or 4 times a semester for classes. We read a ton, then go to class for 3 or 4 days, then come home to write papers. It’s not a bad way to do graduate school if you also work full time. Most of the folks I’m in school with are just a few years out of undergrad. If you are newer to student ministry, then they place you at a church and give you a “coach” to help you through all those first year mistakes. I sure wish I’d have had someone like that when I first started ministry. Anyway, they made some room for some of us who have been in the biz a bit longer and are full time, so we are allowed to take advantage of the convenient schedule. It’s a really great program, and I’d encourage anyone who’s considering a calling to student ministry to give it a serious look.

Anyway, so I had a plan. A wonderful great plan. When I began the program, I was told that I’d be able to use my electives to get the necessary courses required for an Ordained Deacon. The only caveat was that they didn’t think I could get my worship class through the retreat schedule. The two Methodism classes would be offered during my second year. So here was my plan. Get my feet wet the first year (I have’t been in school for 15 years, so I didn’t want to over do it). The second year I would take the two Methodism courses (this meant two semesters of 9 hours…very grueling). The third year I would pick up the worship course either online or preferably through a one week intensive at Asbury Seminary. After the first 9 hours semester, I decided that I didn’t want to experience more of those than I had to. So I decided to take the worship course the first week of January–between my 3rd year semesters.

However my plan didn’t work out the way I’d hoped…it got better! So I was able to get the two Methodism course in, however sometime around April, I found out from Andrew Zirschky (our Academic Director/Youth Ministry Professor) that our schedule had been adjusted for the Spring of 2016 to include the week that I had planned to take my worship course. I had to scramble to come of with options. Again I didn’t want another 9 hours semester, so there were two options: online, or a summer intensive week. After a bit of digging, I discovered that online was going to be too difficult with my summer youth ministry schedule. Mostly because it required me to post online several times a week and participation was a significant part of my grade. This would be nearly impossible with all of the summer trips I have with students. So then I looked at intensives. There was one at Asbury (Wilmore, KY) in June. However it started the Monday after our Junior High Mission Trip. I was not looking forward to a 5 hour drive and a week of school after a long weekend with Junior Highs. Then by chance I happened to talk to a friend of mine who is a professor of worship, to see if he knew of any other options. It just so happened that HE was teaching one, and it was a week later than the one in Kentucky, in Seattle. After that things just started falling into place. My senior pastor offered to cover my plane flight. Dr. Zirschky found a place for me to stay with some friends he knew. The school, Seattle Pacific Seminary accepted my application and I got approval from my seminary to transfer the course back in and from my conference Board of Ordained Ministry to take the course.

So now I’m in Seattle (yes I made it safely). I am later getting this posted than I had anticipated as well as its a bit longer then I (or you) would have preferred, but it’s my story. I’ll have some more trip details later. I plan to document most of the trip, but I’ve had a long day and I’m tired, so I’ll probably compress my experiences today (Sunday) with my first day of class experiences.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s