In looking back upon my posts since I first started blogging, I realize that it has been almost exactly one year since I told you all about my beginning curiosities and interests in sport ministry and sport chaplaincy. I had no idea at that time (February 2011) that I would be where I am today.
Where am I today? I am in my second semester of seminary at Candler School of Theology at Emory University.
What am I studying? In an easy and quite vague answer: a lot. I am pursuing a Master of Divinity degree which will take a total of two and a half to three years. For the majority, it takes the full three years.
When will I finish? Regardless of the skeptical comments and the look on people’s faces, I am aiming to finish a semester early which would be December 2013.
What does my semester currently look like? This semester I am taking 15 hours.
- History of Evangelicalism in American Culture (3 hours)
- Introduction to Pastoral Care (3 hours)
- Old Testament II (3 hours)
- History of Theological Reformation (3 hours)
- Thinking Through Theological Education (1 hour)
- Contextual Education (2 hours)
(Thanks to my program, I was able to take Evangelicalism during J-term which took place before the actual Spring semester started. Even though I am taking a cumulative of 15 hours, it only feels like I am taking12.)
What do the next few semesters look like? I’ll still have some requirement classes to take, e.g. Systematic Theology, New Testament I and II, and Contextual Education II, which brings me to some good news worth sharing. It appears that after a couple of meetings and worship attendance, I will be completing my Con Ed II work at Georgia Tech with the Wesley Foundation. The Campus Minister/Director is a Tech undergrad and grad alum as well as a Candler alum. My future “boss” and I are on the same page about being sure I experience five particular areas of ministry:
- Liturgy: worship and preaching (Uhhhh, preaching?! My palms just got really sweaty thinking about that)
- Congregational care (Got that in the bag. Too confident too soon?)
- Administration (Do I have to?)
- Mission and outreach (Also in the bag.)
- Religious education (I’ll be alright but do not expect a LeMon, Pacini, or LTJ.)
But more exciting on a personal note is that he and I are on the same page about getting another integral group of students involved with the Wesley Foundation at Tech: the student-athletes. He is going to let me use the time I have at WF to start blazing my sports ministry/chaplaincy trail and he is going to be a mentor, helper, and cheerleader along the way. This all unfolded within about a week and a half (last week actually, with the Spring semester barely getting started) and it did so when I was fretting about a) wanting to use my time efficiently while at Candler and b) not finding a Con Ed II site that would lend a helping hand in getting my personal vocational ball rolling.
How do I feel? (As I let out a deep breath…) I feel good. I am so happy. Yes, sometimes the workload of school can be stressful alongside working part-time at one of the newest and already well-respected restaurants in Historic Roswell: Table & Main. (I’m grateful to be a part of that team!) And yes, I don’t always get 8 hours of sleep every single night. (I believe in naps.) But self-awareness through prayer and reflection shows me that I am in the right place.
Here I am, one year later, on the pursuit of following my calling to be spiritually involved in the lives of female collegiate student-athletes. One year later, I’m sharing in a Christ-centered, fun, caring, and enduring relationship with a man I respect, honor, and love to the moon and back…who lives more than 2,000 miles away, which I think is pretty much the distance to the moon, right?! (He’s doing well, by the way. We’ll see each other again on May 1st or 2nd. We cannot wait to actually smile face-to-face so much our cheeks crampand to goof off in the grocery store and to eat an entire pack of Oreos and to play our version of tennis.) Anyway, all of this is to say that we can’t foresee the great details of our lives and know what will happen in one year or ten years. Life changes constantly and unfortunately yet realistically, our plans can and do go awry. But that shouldn’t be a notion of worry or cause anxiety. When such happens in my life, I count my blessings. What comforts me is that my blessings heavily outweigh my mundane problems.
Is that true for you?