I’ve always had this internal passion for justice. Right and wrong get me pretty worked up. It’s so cliché, but I want what I do to make a difference. I want to take that passion God’s given me and I want to take my seminary degree and use them to build the kingdom of God.
Seminary education is meant to be transformative. You’re going outside of where you’re comfortable and you’re trying new things. Your whole self is involved in this. It’s not just your mind that’s part of seminary education.
If you aren’t willing to open up, you’re going to get an ulcer. I came in with a mindset that was pretty black and white, with shades of gray in there. But I’ve encountered ideas and traditions that are very different than what I’m used to, and I’ve opened up enough to see how these differences strengthen my own tradition. I think if people don’t do that, they’re going to miss out on a lot and, as a result, the church is going to miss out on a lot.
I have a newfound passion for theology. As dorky and crazy as that is, I just love it. Especially when it’s done for the church. It’s that aspect of theology—not the ivory tower—but asking how it affects the church and how it makes us better Christians.
I’ve learned how to talk about faith when I’m with someone who isn’t looking for a theology lesson. The conversations I have with the maintenance crew are very different than the conversations with my seminary friends. Working in facilities management has also reminded me to think about the people doing the unglamorous service jobs. I see how these people, who rarely get recognized, keep the campus running.
In systematic theology class we read this tiny little book. It was written by an old German theologian named Helmut Thielicke. Basically he wrote it to warn his students about getting too big for their theological britches. He saw all these students who went to seminary and got all puffed up. Instead of helping anyone it destroyed people’s faith.
My seminary degree is not just for me to treasure. It’s not so I have something that no one else has, but I’ve been given this opportunity as a gift and it’s now my responsibility to use it—to help establish God’s kingdom here on earth and make that a reality.
M.A. (Christian Thought)
Apple Valley, MN
Talking with friends, reading, working with teenagers, cooking, theology, football, a good cup of coffee