__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

T HG E RCAODLUL A EG T EE &G US IEDMEI N F RA O RY M ERDE ILTEI VOANN T| M 2 0A1G4A- 2Z 0I N 1 5E the college guide from relevant magazine

HO W T O M A K E T HE MOS T OU T OF GR A D SCHOOL PR ACTICAL WAYS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF GR AD SCHOOL’ S OPPORTUNITIES

A ME R IC A ’ S MO S T A F F OR D A BL E SE MIN A R IE S T HE 5 F A S T E S T GR O W ING M A S T E R ’ S

R E L E V A N T U . C O M

4 T HING S Y OU ’ L L W ISH Y OU DID IN SE MIN A R Y

BEST ONLINE GRADUATE PROGRAMS p. 3 6


SERVE THE CHURCH, NOT YOUR DEBT

THE PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM AT GORDON-CONWELL PROVIDES A

FULL-TUITION SCHOLARSHIP WWW.GO RDONCONWELL.EDU/PARTNE RSHIP

PHONE | 800.428.7329

2

EMAIL | ADMISSIONS@GCTS.EDU

RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE

PROGRAMS | GORDONCONWELL.EDU/DEGREES

2 014


ISSUE 07 | 2014–2015

C O N T E N T S

G R A D U A T E

SLICES 22

54

There’s a lot more to seminary than just going to class and reading your books.

The best online grad school programs, things every grad student should have, which theology degree you should get, the most affordable schools and more.

58

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF GRAD SCHOOL

A few ways to take advantage of the unique opportunities grad school brings.

46

WHAT A MASTE R ’ S DEG RE E CAN ’T DO

A master’s degree can be a great step toward your professional goals, but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee you more money or your dream job.

FEATURES 44

4 THINGS YOU ’ LL WISH YOU DID IN SE MINARY

[special section]

62

WHAT YOU SHOU LD KNOW

We talk to a graduate professor and a former grad student about what you should know before going to grad school.

5 SE MINARY MY THS

Examining a few of the ways seminary will challenge your thinking and your expectations.

50

NO, GRAD SCHOOL DOESN’T CONTROL YOUR LIFE

Grad school can be a busy time, but you don’t have to let studying take over. Here are a few ways to stay sane.

PARTNER DIRECTORY 70

A rundown of some of RELEVANT’s partner universities around the country.

1


YOU’RE NOT THE TYPE OF PERSON WHO WOULD GO TO SEMINARY. OR ARE YOU?

Looking for an open, invigorating environment to explore your spiritual side? Learn how theology engages the arts, social justice and spirituality through an interfaith lens. Come discover Education for Transformation.

2

RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE

unitedseminary.edu

2 014


t h e c o l l e g e at

southwestern degree options

Humanities Biblical studies

History of ideas BiBlical studies tHeology pHilosopHy Missions apologetics

Music

Music HoMeMaking cHristian education

find your place here. college.swbts.edu  3


OLIVET NAZARENE UNIVERSITY

WE BELIEVE INNOVATION & CREATIVITY DESERVE SEATs AT THE GROWN-UP TABLE

olivet.edu 4

RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE

2 014


TOP-TIER ACADEMICS, CHRISTIAN FAITH

Union Online

ONLINE DEGREES IN

Union is committed to integrating top-tier academics and Christian faith in every program of study. As a result, Union has earned national honors and accreditations.

Business Administration

Now Union offers adults who face travel or work schedule challenges some online options for earning graduate degrees. These online programs offer Christ-centered academic excellence and faculty interaction—traits that are hallmarks of a Union education.

Education Nursing Theology and Missions

Learn more by visiting uu.edu/online.

FOUNDED IN 1823 |

uu.edu/online

E X C E L L E N C E - D R I V E N | C H R I S T- C E N T E R E D | P E O P L E - F O C U S E D | F U T U R E - D I R E C T E D

5


BECOME BECOME EQUIPPED EQUIPPED TO TO SERVE SERVE

www.calvinseminary.edu www.calvinseminary.edu Master of Divinity* Master Divinity* Master of of Theological Studies* Master of Theological Studies* Master of Arts Master Master of of Arts Theology Master of Philosophy Theology Doctor of Doctor of Philosophy Diploma* or Certificate Diploma* or Certificate *DistanceRELEVANT learning available U _ GR ADUATE 6 *Distance learning available

2 014


Substance. Scripture. Service. Substance. Scripture. Service.

Austin Seminary encourages growth in mind and spirit, toward discernment of God’s leading.

} }

Austin Seminary encourages growth in mind and spirit, toward discernment of God’s leading.

“I remember during my first visit to “I remember during my first visit to Austin Seminary as a prospective student, Austin Seminary as said, a prospective student, [Professor] Cindy Rigby “We professors [Professor] Cindy said, This “Wewas professors view you students as Rigby colleagues.” view you unique students colleagues.” something thatas I only found hereThis was atsomething Austin Seminary, andthat thisIisonly the kind of here unique found approach that I want to take intokind of at Austin Seminary, and with this me is the my ministry. that ” approach I want to take with me into

my ministry. ”

Discovery Weekend October 24-26, 2014 Discovery Weekend

AustinSeminary.edu/falldiscovery October 24-26, 2014

AustinSeminary.edu/falldiscovery

7


Our Textbook. TRUETT SEMINARY

The Bible is the foundation of the Truett Seminary curriculum. We believe the Scriptures are the inspired, authoritative, written Word of God. Truett students engage in thorough study of the Scriptures, examine a wide range of Christian texts and employ criticalthinking skills paramount to developing innovative ways to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world.

Fall Preview Nov. 6-7, 2014

Living the Great Commission. Built on a strong biblical foundation, George W. Truett Theological Seminary equips the next generation of congregational leaders and ministry professionals to reach people in an ever-changing global community. LEARN MORE baylor.edu/truett 8

RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE

2 014


Powerful. Powerful.Flexible. Flexible.Practical. Practical.

Doug Fields, M.Div. Doug Fields, M.Div. Author / Youth Leader Author / Youth Leader

Jim Jim Burns, Ph.D. Burns, Ph.D. Author / Speaker Author / Speaker

Azuza Pacific Seminary Azuza Pacific Seminary

Master MasterofofArts ArtsininYouth YouthMinistry Ministry Following God’s callcall to serve today’s youth andand their parents is aisgreat privilege andand responsibility. Following God’s to serve today’s youth their parents a great privilege responsibility. Prepare for for it with Azusa Pacific’s Master of Arts in Youth Ministry program. Prepare it with Azusa Pacific’s Master of Arts in Youth Ministry program.

Learn from leading experts Learn from leading experts Study under thought leaders in youth andand family ministry such as Jim Burns andand Doug Fields. Study under thought leaders in youth family ministry such as Jim Burns Doug Fields.

Flexible format Flexible format Choose from online courses andand one-week summer intensives, or aortraditional classroom setting. Choose from online courses one-week summer intensives, a traditional classroom setting.

Hands-on experience Hands-on experience Integration of academic andand experiential components enhances learning andand advances your career. Integration of academic experiential components enhances learning advances your career.

Learn more! VisitVisit apu.edu/maym/, Learn more! apu.edu/maym/, email gradadmissions@apu.edu, or call (626) 815-4564. email gradadmissions@apu.edu, or call (626) 815-4564.

Other degree programs offered Other degree programs offered | M.Div. | Pastoral | (Theological | Transformational D.Min. Studies, M.A.M.A. Studies), M.A.M.A. Urban Leadership, M.A.M.A. | M.Div. | Pastoral | (Theological | Transformational D.Min. Studies, Studies), Urban Leadership, 9

16114

16114


GRADUATE, 2014–2015, ISSUE 07 P U B LI S H E R & CEO CAMERON STRANG > cameron@relevantmediagroup.com Associate Publisher | JEFF ROJAS > jeff@relevantmediagroup.com Account Manager | MICHAEL SCHUERMAN> michael@relevantmediagroup.com Account Manager | WAYNE THOMPSON > wayne@relevantmediagroup.com

The Call to Ministry and to Vocations of Religious Leadership Demands Women and Men Become Reconcilers and

Managing Editor | TYLER HUCKABEE > tyler@relevantmediagroup.com Web Editor | JESSE CAREY > jesse@relevantmediagroup.com Copy Editor | DARGAN THOMPSON > dargan@relevantmediagroup.com Editorial Coordinator | LINDSEY STATON > lindsey.staton@relevantmediagroup.com Contributing Writers: Gina DeLapa, Amy Francis, Curtis James, Eddie Kaufholz, Bonnie Kristian Senior Designer | EVAN TRAVELSTEAD > evan@relevantmediagroup.com Designer | LAUREN HARVILL > lauren@relevantmediagroup.com Production Designer | LINDSEY WEIGLEY > lindsey@relevantmediagroup.com Director of Audio & Video | CHAD MICHAEL SNAVELY > chad@relevantmediagroup.com Visual Content Producer | MARK KAMMEL > mark@relevantmediagroup.com

Bridge -Builders

Finance and Operations Manager | MERCEDES LANGDON > mercedes@relevantmediagroup.com Project and Marketing Manager | AME LYNN DUNN > ame@relevantmediagroup.com Customer Experience Coordinator | CAROLINE COLE > caroline@relevantmediagroup.com Marketing Assistant | MORGAN BECK > morgan@relevantmediagroup.com Facilities Coordinator | ERIC WARD > eric@relevantmediagroup.com

Our degree programs offer students opportunities to be formed as leaders in church and society through academic excellence, critical reflection and faithful witness.

Web/App Developer | STEVEN LINN > steven@relevantmediagroup.com Systems Administrator | JOSH STROHM > joshs@relevantmediagroup.com

in a Broken World.

Inquire Now!

www.mccormick.edu

773.947.6300

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: www.RELEVANTmagazine.com/advertise

COLLEGE GUIDE ADVERTISING

RELEVANT U IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE MAKERS OF RELEVANT.

For advertising inquiries, please contact: Wayne Thompson wayne@relevantmediagroup.com (407) 660-1411 x 126

TO SUBSCRIBE TO RELEVANT RELEVANTmagazine.com/subscribe Phone: (Toll-free) 866-402-4746 Standard rates: 1 year (6 issues) U.S. $14.99, Canada $24.99, International $30.99

BULK DISCOUNTS ON RELEVANT Call 866-402-4746 for bulk subscription discounts for your organization or visit RELEVANTmagazine.com/store/bulk

RELEVANT SUBSCRIBER SERVICES RELEVANTmagazine.com/subservices Phone: (Toll-free) 866-402-4746 U.S. and Canada, 515-237-3657 International.

5460 S. University Ave. Chicago, IL 60615

TWITTER Follow us at Twitter.com/RELEVANT

DISTRIBUTORS If you would like free copies of RELEVANT U for your students, please submit your information at RELEVANTmagazine.com/store/bulk.

REPRINTS & PERMISSIONS Love an article so much you want to pretend you wrote it, put your name on it and print up copies? You can’t. For what you can do, visit RELEVANTmagazine.com.

RELEVANT MEDIA GROUP 900 N. Orange Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789 Phone: (407) 660-1411 RELEVANTmediagroup.com

FACEBOOK Like us at Facebook.com/RELEVANT

INSTAGRAM Follow us @RELEVANTmagazine


Completely Online Master of Divinity Be equipped for ministry with a Master of Divinity completely online from Moody Theological Seminary. Get the seminary preparation you need to serve your community, plant a church, or transform your culture—while still keeping your current commitments. You can also choose from six other graduate degrees. If you have a Bible college degree, you may qualify for up to 18 hours of advanced standing credit.

Get more information www.moody.edu/mtsrelevant | 800-588-8344

MOODY THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY FROM THE WORD. TO LIFE.


E D I T O R ’ S

N O T E

IS GR AD SCHOOL FOR YOU? by T Y L E R H U C K A B E E

2007, I was an enterprising young writer, fresh out of college, ready to take on the world. The only problem was, I wasn’t really doing any writing. At least, I wasn’t doing any writing outside of a broad collection of half-finished novels. Try as I might, I couldn’t find any place the least bit interested in even reading a writing sample, let alone cutting me a check. The answer, I figured, was graduate school. I had gotten decent grades in college, had a few professors willing to write me a good recommendation and—this was key—nothing else going on. My only other option was Starbucks, so grad school seemed like the way to go. The admissions office must have felt differently, because my application was rejected. It was a weird feeling to be turned down for school. I had felt so certain I was called to academic greatness. I marched into the office of the admissions director, a dapper old dandy with a curly mustache, demanding some answers. He was much kinder to me than my fiery indignation probably warranted. And what he told me has stuck with me: “Graduate school isn’t for everyone.” I thought about that sentence a lot while I licked my wounds (and waited tables) in the ensuing months. I had applied to graduate school not necessarily because I wanted to go or even needed to go, but for lack of any better ideas. I had enjoyed college and, in my ignorance, I figured grad school would

IN

18 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE

just sort of be like another round of college. I couldn’t think of a good reason not to go. But grad school isn’t for everyone. It isn’t for me. At least, it wasn’t then. Is it for you? If you’re reading this, you’re at least considering the possibility of an advanced degree. Hopefully, your reasons are better than mine. And even if your reasons aren’t better than mine, that doesn’t mean you’ll get rejected. Your grades might be exceptional. Your recommendations might be sublime. Don’t let my experience discourage you. You don’t have to have good motives to get in. But is graduate school for you? It’s more than just expensive and demanding—it’s a sea of change in your life. It’s committing to a new level of not just studies, but expectations. You’re raising the bar on yourself, and committing to an expanded set of opportunities. You’re being given a new horizon

and to whom much is given ... well, you know the rest. In this issue of RELEVANT U, you’ll find a lot of information to help you make the decisions you need to make about the next phase in your education. We talk to people who tell us how graduate school and seminary revolutionized their job aspirations and, really, changed their lives. And, unlike me, their desire to go to grad school didn’t stem from apathy; it came from a genuine motivation to take their careers to the next level, to have their lives changed and, in turn, to change the lives of others. Does that sound like something you’d be interested in? Is grad school for you? If so, then read on. You’ve come to the right place.

I HAD ENJOYED COLLEGE AND I FIGURED GRAD SCHOOL WOULD JUST SORT OF BE LIKE ANOTHER ROUND OF COLLEGE. I COULDN’T THINK OF A GOOD REASON NOT TO GO. T YLER HUCK ABEE is the managing editor of RELEVANT magazine


LOVING OTHERS THROUGH EQUAL EDUCATION

memphistr.org

Train and live in community with other men and women who are responding to the gospel mandate to love our neighbors as ourselves by providing students in lowincome neighborhoods with the same, or better, quality of education as is available to any student in Memphis.

The vision of MTR is to use our specific work within education, in partnership with other holistic organizations, to help restore communities so that all individuals can become empowered contributors to our city, and people of all races and classes can engage with one another in peace.

12-MONTH TEACHER RESIDENCY PROVIDES: Masters in Urban Education from Union University (incl. tuition & books) Intensive Classroom Experience State of Tennessee Educator License Housing & Monthly Stipend Staffing & Coaching Support 19


PASTOR COUNSELOR COMMUNITY ORGANIZER

CHURCH PLANTER

EDUCATOR

CHAPLAIN

PITTSBURGH

THEOLOGICAL

SEMINARY

Your future here is bright! • Master of Divinity with Emphasis in Church Planting or Urban Ministry

Whatever you feel called to, we have a program that’s right for you. Earn your degree full time, part time, day, or evening.

• Master or Arts • Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry with Emphasis in Missional Formation, Spirituality and Worship, and Pastoral Care • Joint degrees in Law, Social Work, and Public Policy

Our faculty are researching and writing on archaeology, the human genome project, and everything in between. With $1 million in student financial aid, your seminary education is affordable at Pittsburgh Seminary.

• Master of Sacred Theology • Doctor of Ministry

20 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE

1-800-451-4194 www.pts.edu/Relevant


21


SLICES WHEN SHOULD YOU GO TO GR AD SCHOOL? or a lot of people, the question of going to graduate school always looms. There’s the sense that it might be a terrifically rewarding experience, with lots of potential for personal and professional benefits. There’s the sense that if you don’t do it, you’ll always wonder what would have happened if you had. But there’s also the fear. What if it’s too expensive or too hard? Can you even get in? And is now the right time? The truth is, determining when it’s right has less to do with your circumstances than it does with your life goals. If going to college can be compared to renting an apartment, going to graduate school is like buying a house. It’s a greater commitment that will require more responsibility. If you’re applying to graduate school, you should have a firm idea of your desired career path and how graduate school will benefit your career. If you’re not there yet, never fear. That doesn’t mean graduate school isn’t for you—just that you’re still on a journey. But if you’ve got a good handle on what you want out of grad school and what it can provide for you, then it’s time to get cracking.

F

22 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE


Learn Learn more. more. Earn Earn more. more. An MBA from Northwestern can increase An MBA from Northwestern can increase your earnings—and so much more. your earnings—and so much more. Open doors to better career opportunities with a practical, Open doors to better career opportunities with a practical, Christ-centered MBA. You will be prepared to lead and serve Christ-centered MBA. You will be prepared to lead and serve with ethics and integrity. with ethics and integrity. On-site/online blended format. Online MBA coming in 2015. On-site/online blended format. Online MBA coming in 2015. Apply today! Apply today! UNWSP.EDU/MBA14 | 888-362-8715 UNWSP.EDU/MBA14 | 888-362-8715

Master’s Master’s Degrees Degrees

Business Business Administration Administration

Human Human Services Services

Theological Theological Studies Studies

Divinity Divinity

Organizational Organizational Leadership Leadership

Education 23 Education


S L I C E S

THE 6 MOST AFFORDABLE GR AD SCHOOL S here’s no getting around it: Grad school is expensive. And there usually aren’t as many scholarships available for grad students as there are for undergrads. If you’re considering grad school, you should probably start saving to offset the costs. And before taking on hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, you’ll probably want to consider the average debt and starting salary you can reasonably expect with the degree you’re pursuing. There are a lot of factors to take into account when choosing a school—and cheaper isn’t always better—but here’s a brief breakdown of schools with the lowest in-state tuition:

TEXAS A&M INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT PEMBROKE

Laredo, TX

Pembroke, NC

$77 per credit hour

$183 to $206 per credit hour

The A. R. Sanchez Jr. School

The most affordable of

of Business has been named

North Carolina’s remark-

a “best business school” by

ably inexpensive public

The Princeton Review.

universities.

UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA

COLUMBUS STATE UNIVERSITY

Norman, OK

Columbus, GA

$183 per credit hour

$196 per credit hour

Known for its high research

Notable for its business

activity, the school also

and education schools,

boasts seven NCAA Division

CSU has also been ranked

I National Football Champi-

as one of the top public

onships titles.

schools by U.S. News.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH DAKOTA

EMPORIA STATE UNIVERSITY

Vermillion, SD

Emporia, KS

$210 per credit hour

$227 per credit hour

Along with over 60 gradu-

With a total enrollment of

ate programs, USD also

only about 5,500, Emporia

has the only medical

is a great place for person-

school in the state.

alized learning.

T

24 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE


Online degrees that equip you for the business of making a

BET T ER WOR LD A degree from Colorado Christian University will equip you to lead in ways you’ve never imagined. With online and in-seat options, you can take classes when and where it’s convenient for you.

APPLY TODAY! Use promo code RELEVANT to waive the application fee.

online.ccu.edu | 303.963.3311

CCU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools 25


S L I C E S

HOW GR AD SCHOOL IS DIFFERENT FROM UNDERGR AD GRAD SCHOOL ISN’T JUST A GROWN-UP VERSION OF UNDERGRAD, IT’S A WHOLE DIFFERENT ANIMAL

M

ost students going into grad school assume their experience will be more or less like their undergrad experience. Oh, maybe it will be a little more challenging and there will be fewer dorm pranks, but it’s still just like a slightly more mature college experience, right? Guess again. Graduate school is actually a very different animal, and the sooner you’re clear on the differences, the more equipped you’ll be to succeed.

UNDERGR AD CLASSES: You have a lot of work to do outside of class, but the classroom is still the nucleus of your studies. CAMPUS LIFE: Your campus is your entire world. You might venture out for the odd party or late-night dinner, but you’re largely tethered to the campus. STRUCTURE: Your education is more or less mapped out for you from your freshman year on. You have syllabi, a list of

26 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE

required reading and a fairly firm idea of your graduation date. PROFESSORS: Your professor is basically your boss.

GRADUATE The starting point of your study. Most of your coursework is there to give you a foundation for your own autonomous study beyond the classroom. CAMPUS LIFE: You’re in the campus, but you’re not of it. In all likelihood, you’ll be living off-campus and only peripherally inhabit the same space as your undergrad counterparts. One exception: the library. STRUCTURE: Make no mistake, you’ll have a structure to your grad school career—but you’ll determine what that structure looks like. PROFESSORS: Your professor is more like a mentor, who can affirm your independent study and provide further insights to assist your education goals. CLASSES:


COME FOR THE NEXT 3 YEARS, PREPARE FOR THE NEXT 30.

MIDWESTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY exists for the Church. mbts.edu 800-944-MBTS Kansas City, MO

From start to finish, Midwestern Seminary strives to dramatically transform students by renewing their minds with biblical truth, igniting their hearts with ministry passion, and enriching their souls with deepened Christ-likeness. We are growing the future leaders of the church who are whole-heartedly dedicated to fulfilling the Great Commission as they go forth into all the world. Complete your degree online or on campus.

27


S L I C E S

HOW TO PICK A M ASTER’S PROGR A M A FEW QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN CHOOSING WHAT DEGREE TO PURSUE AND WHERE TO GET IT ou’ve decided you want a master’s degree, but you don’t know how to go about choosing which degree you want. Fortunately for you, that’s where the fun comes in. You can tailor your education process not just to what you want to do, but to who you want to be.

Y

1. WHAT AM I INTERESTED IN? This might sound obvious, but it’s not a decision to make lightly. This program will be your life for the next few years, so make sure you’re passionate about the subject.

2. CAN I MANAGE THE FINANCES? Money is no small consideration, so make sure you have a good handle on the specifics of financing your education. A good scholarship could quite literally change your life. Explore in-state opportunities, as they will cut down on your costs considerably. If you’re already in a career, discuss the possibility of tuition reimbursement with your employer.

3. IS THIS PROGRAM ACTUALLY USEFUL? A master’s degree does not necessarily mean more money, more opportunities or even more expertise. Be familiar with the demands of your career and make sure the

28 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE

program you choose will actually provide you with tangible benefits.

4. WILL MY QUALIFICATIONS BE ACCEPTED ABROAD? If you ever plan on working abroad (and even if you don’t), you’ll want to make sure your qualifications have international merit.

5. DOES MY PROGRAM HAVE A GOOD REPUTATION? In the Internet age, there’s no reason you should be surprised by any university’s shortcomings. Student evaluations and national reports are easy to Google, and you should absolutely do an exhaustive amount of research before you apply to any school.

THIS PROGRAM WILL BE YOUR LIFE FOR THE NEXT FEW YEARS, SO MAKE SURE YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT THE SUBJECT.


29


S L I C E S

8 THINGS EVERY GR AD STUDENT SHOULD HAVE

2. A GOOD BIKE - The benefits of owning a bike you like riding is two-fold: It’s cheaper than driving a car or public transportation, and it’s a way to get some exercise and balance out all those late-night study snacks. The site LocalBikeTrader.com can help you find a some affordable wheels near your school.

Grad school can be one of the busiest times of your life, but here are a few things that can make post-grad life a lot easier:

1. A SMALL GROUP - Obviously, it’s important to

3. A JOURNAL

stay plugged into a church even when you’re in grad school. But along with Sunday services, find a group of friends who support each other spiritually—not just academically—to meet with regularly.

Writing more might be the last thing you want to do during your time off, but don’t let these years slip by without capturing what made them great. Keep a journal or blog— grad school is about more than a degree; it’s about growing.

4. A NATUREBOX SUBSCRIP T ION

5. AN ONLINE BACKUP SERVICE

A supply of food is essential to fuel roundthe-clock study sessions. Starting at about $16 a month, NatureBox will send you boxes of healthy, tasty snacks that you don’t have to feel guilty munching on.

Few things are more devastating than a computer crash that causes you to lose hours of work. For a few bucks a month, services like CrashPlan and Mozy keep your hard work safe from viruses and spills.

6. EVERNOTE

7. A BUDGET APP

8. THE ‘THINGS’ APP

Evernote is a multidevice app that lets you organize and share your research and lecture notes across all your digital platforms.

With apps like Level Money and LearnVest, making sure your bills are getting paid is as simple as looking at your phone.

This app lets you schedule tasks, make checklists, sync calendars and pretty much accomplish any organizational task that makes life less stressful.

30 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE


Step Into Your God-Sized Dreams Mark Batterson believes in dreaming big and praying bold prayers: “Keep growing, keep stretching, keep learning.” He says Regent University—with an emphasis on academic excellence and biblical truth—helped him sharpen his calling to Christian leadership. Our respected faculty and award-winning programs will help you sharpen your theological and leadership acumen with a focus on spiritual formation and biblical literacy. Ready to move toward your God-sized dreams? We’ll help you take the next step.

Master of Arts in Practical Theology Master of Divinity Master of Theological Studies Doctor of Ministry Doctor of Philosophy ON CAMPUS | ONLINE

DIV140603

Mark Batterson, D.Min. '12 Lead Pastor, National Community Church New York Times Best-Selling Author

APPLY TODAY.

regent.edu/success | 800.723.6162 The School of Divinity is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), with approval for a Comprehensive Distance Education Program.

31


S L I C E S

CELEBRITIES WITH ADVANCED DEGREES Going to grad school doesn’t have to be the defining quality of your life. In fact, the people in this list are known for everything but their education—even though their education is pretty impressive. JA M E S F R A N CO Franco has earned a reputation as a pop culture chameleon. But in-between being a movie star and director, he also earned his M.F.A. in creative writing from Columbia.

WHEN YOU DON’T GET ACCEP TED uch. You’ve spent an awful lot of time and money applying to grad school, only to get rejected. It stings, but it’s not a killshot to your dreams. Your first course of action is to contact the admissions department. Be polite and respectful, and see if you can talk to someone about your application. In all likelihood, someone from the department will be happy to explain the process to you and possibly even give you specifics about why your application was rejected. Often, the reasons for application rejection are factors that can be controlled—like experience in your field or explaining why you’d be a good fit. Take a few months to study and improve your resume, and try again.

O

ASHLEY JUDD After building a successful career in Hollywood, Judd’s interests turned academic. She earned her master’s in public administration from Harvard in 2009.

DAV I D D U C H OV N Y Some actors turn to education late in their career, but Duchovny had completed his M.A. at Yale and was working on his Ph.D. when he decided to pursue a career in film.

B I L L CO S BY Cosby has spoken often and eloquently about the importance of education, and it’s more than just talk. He’s earned his master’s and doctorate in education.

3 BAD REASONS TO GO TO GR AD SCHOOL 1. I DON’T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO Leaving college for the daunting job market often sounds way less feasible than just going on to college 2.0. But grad school is just about the most expensive, stressful, demanding way you could possibly try to sort out what you want out of life. Spend some time figuring out what kind of career you’d like to pursue before applying.

32 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE

2. GOING TO GRAD SCHOOL W ILL MAKE I T EASIER TO FIND A JOB This cuts both ways, because while you’re spending time in grad school, your peers are out getting real job experience. Different employers look for different things in an applicant, so do some research about your field and don’t hang all your hopes on your master’s degree.

3. I’LL MAKE MORE MONEY Again, this isn’t necessarily true. During the Great Recession, grad school attendance exploded with students trying to get an edge in the dwindling market. The increasing popularity of master’s degrees means they’re not the free meal ticket they used to be. Plus, they often come with increased debt to pay off.


33


S L I C E S

AFFORDABLE SEMINARY PROGR A MS TYNDALE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY H U R S T, T X $250- 300 per course (about $100 per credit hour) Non-Denominational

GENEVA REFORMED SEMINARY GREENVILLE , SC $150 per credit hour Reformed

BAPTIST MISSIONARY ASSOCIATION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

WHAT THEOLOGY DEGREE SHOULD I GET? D

eciding to apply to seminary is one thing. Deciding which type of theology degree you should get is something else altogether. Here is a quick breakdown to make your decisionmaking process a little easier:

MASTER OF THEOLOGY This option provides a solid foundation for anyone looking into a career in ministry. People with a master of theology could go on to teach at a college, work at a faith-based ministry or even get involved in social justice causes.

MASTER OF THEOLOGICAL TRA INING This is a heavily intellectual degree, generally reserved for those who have a theology-related undergrad and for people who intend to continue their education at a doctorate level. It involves a lot of research and publishing, so it’s a good degree for those looking to teach or write as part of their career.

MASTER OF DIV INIT Y This is the degree that started it all, and it’s the best bet for those with pastoral aspirations. If you’re looking to get ordained and become a leader in your local church, you’ll want to get an M.Div. Pro tip: Many M.Div’s are denomination-specific, so choose your program wisely.

34 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE

JAC K S O N V I L L E , T X $160 per credit hour Baptist

WESTERN REFORMED SEMINARY TACO M A , WA $180-220 per credit hour Reformed

CITY SEMINARY S AC R A M E N TO , C A $225 per credit hour Reformed

THE KING’S UNIVERSITY LOS ANGELES , CA $255 per credit hour Pentecostal/Charismatic

FAITH EVANGELICAL COLLEGE AND SEMINARY TACO M A , WA $270 per credit hour Lutheran


35


S L I C E S

10

BEST ONLINE GR ADUATE PROGR A MS

As online graduate programs become less of a stigma and more of the norm, the question for applicants is less “Will people take an on-

line degree seriously?” and more “Which online degrees are best?” Here’s a breakdown of a few of the top online grad programs:

WALDEN UNIVERSIT Y W W W.WALD E N U. E D U

Walden has offered fully online master’s degrees since 1995, and now has a respectable 38 online master’s degree programs. But the real draw is the student body. Of their 46,500 students from all over the world, 80 percent are working full time or are self-employed.

K APL AN UNIVERSIT Y

STRAYER UNIVERSIT Y

W W W. K AP L AN U N IVE R S IT Y. E D U

W W W. S TR AY E R . E D U

Kaplan’s online program has set the bar for all other online master’s programs. By their count, 91 percent of alumni say their education exceeded their expectations. And yes, it’s owned by the company that helped you study for the GRE.

Hundreds of Fortune 1000 companies consult with Strayer on job marketability. Though the university only has 10 areas of study for master’s degrees, they approach online education the right way—offering courses on how to make the most of online education.

INDEPENDENCE UNIVERSIT Y

AMERICAN INTERCONTINENTAL UNIVERSIT Y

W W W. I N D E P E N D E N CE . E D U

W W W. AI U N IV. E D U/O N LI N E - C AM P U S/

Independence is a nonprofit university with nine online master’s degree programs. The university has traditionally specialized in health care, but also offers business, computer and graphic arts degrees. Independence University has a special focus on international students living in the United States.

36 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE

O N LI N E - E D U C ATI O N

This university has been recognized not only for its customizable pacing options and excellent career resource centers, but also for the caliber of the faculty. If you attend American InterContinental, you’re guaranteed to be getting an education from an industry leader.


CAPELL A UNIVERSIT Y W W W.C AP E LL A . E D U

Capella offers 20 master’s degrees and selfpaced learning options. Ninety-five percent of alumni are satisfied with their experience.

EVEREST UNIVERSIT Y ONLINE W W W. E VE R E S TO N LI N E . E D U

Everest only offers two master’s programs, but they offer them with a 24/7 support center, career placement services and accelerated options.

DEVRY UNIVERSIT Y W W W. D E VRY. E D U

DeVry pairs each student with an adviser to help them craft a unique course load out of the school’s impressively customizable schedules.

SAINT LEO UNIVERSIT Y W W W. SAI NTLEO. E D U

This old Catholic institution has made online education a top priority and is a nationally recognized leader in distance learning.

WESTERN GOVERNORS UNIVERSIT Y W W W.WG U. E D U

WGU gives degrees based on competency instead of credit hours. Each student gets a mentor to help them get the best education possible.

37


S L I C E S

FINDING REST IN SEMINARY

WISDOM ON THE GO 6 PODCASTS TO MAKE YOU A BETTER SEMINARY STUDENT e’re assuming you already listen to the weekly RELEVANT Podcast, but for seminary students looking for a regular dose of spiritual insight, leadership teaching and practical ministry advice, here are a few other shows to include in your podcast rotation.

W

1 YEAR DAILY AUDIO BIBLE Even in seminary, it’s easy to not make time for your own personal Bible reading. The 1 Year Daily Audio Bible with Brian Hardin breaks down all of Scripture into 365 episodes that you can download straight to your iPhone.

JESUS CULTURE LEADERSHIP PODCAST On this monthly podcast, leaders from the Jesus Culture movement talk to other Christian leaders about the essential characteristics, motivations and practices of great leaders.

THE PRODUCTIVE PASTOR Full of practical tips about sermon preparation, time management, how to

38 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE

rest well and other tools pastors need, this podcast provides some great habits to start practicing before you fully launch into your ministry.

UNSEMINARY With a focus on practical ministry advice—like using social media for outreach purposes and navigating change in your ministry—this weekly podcast focuses on the things they don’t always cover in seminary.

TIMOTHY KELLER PODCAST Tim Keller seems to have a special gift for clear, insightful, biblical teaching. This podcast of his sermons is a good place to soak in great teaching—and perhaps pick up some tips for your own sermon writing.

THE LITURGISTS Created by Michael and Lisa Gungor, The Liturgists are a group of thinkers and creatives devoted to creating thoughtful liturgical work. On their podcast, the group brings in experts to discuss controversial issues in the Church.

Even when you are studying God’s Word, it can be hard to find peace in the midst of papers, tests and hundreds of pages of reading. Here are a few practices to keep your pursuit of knowledge from running you into the ground. F I N D A M E N TO R While seminary will provide you with plenty of spiritual leaders in terms of professors, you need to seek out someone who will challenge you to grow not only in knowledge, but also in your personal walk with Christ. TA K E T I M E O F F During seminary, the whole idea of a day of rest might look different than it does at other times. Set aside times to rest from your theology books and connect with God in other ways. Read the Bible without studying it. Go for a walk. Pray. S TAY Q U I E T You don’t always have to have something profound to say during class discussions. Sometimes, especially early on, it’s better to just soak in the teaching. After all, you’re there to learn, not to impress your classmates with your mastery of theological principles.


39


S L I C E S

FA S T E S T G R OW I N G M A S T E R ’S So you want go to grad school, but you can’t decide what to study? The Bureau of Labor Statistics is here to help. Their Employment Projections report looks at what fields requiring post-graduate degrees will be the most in-demand through 2022. Here are five of the fastest growing job fields for graduates:

MENTAL HE ALTH COUNSELORS

PHYSICAL THER AP IS T S

OCCUPAT IONAL THER AP IS T S

PHYSICI AN ASSIS TANT S

Increasingly recognized as an important aspect of well-being, mental health is a growing field. The demand for mental health professionals is expected to grow by nearly 30 percent by 2022, with more than 165,000 practicing counselors helping individuals and families with psychiatric issues.

Not only is the field of physical therapy projected to grow by 36 percent in the coming years, it’s also in the highest earning projections category, with average annual wages ranging from $80,000 to $90,000. Most jobs in the field require a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.

This fast-growing field uses many of the techniques of physical therapy to help individuals develop or recover work and dayto-day skills they may have lost in an accident.. It is expected to grow by nearly 30 percent, employing more than 146,000 professionals by 2022.

Health care professionals are always in demand, but with an aging population and new insurance laws, the need is bigger than ever. By 2022, the BLS predicts there will be at least 120,000 employed physician assistants around the country. It’s an increasingly appealing career path.

40 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE

INDUS TRI ALORGANI Z AT IONAL PSYCHOLOGIS T S The field of I-O Psychology is expected to grow by 53 percent from 2012 to 2022, with businesses and organizations seeking guidance from trained psychologists to help structure HR departments, management training and corporate practices.


Now Now offering offering up up to to 50% 50% tuition tuition discounts discounts for for all all graduate and undergraduate ministry degrees graduate and undergraduate ministry degrees “I didn’t need a diploma to be a pastor, but I “I didn’t need a diploma to be a pastor, but I needed this experience to take my church to needed this experience to take my church to another level of effectiveness in ministry.” another level of effectiveness in ministry.” Kevin Wallace, ‘14, Redemption Point Church, Chattanooga, TN Kevin Wallace, ‘14, Redemption Point Church, Chattanooga, TN

YOUR YOUR GREATER GREATER TOMORROW TOMORROW

TODAY

Whether you are called Pastor, Bishop, Youth Leader, Music Minister, Whether you are called Pastor, Bishop, Youth Leader, Music Minister, or simply Preacher, Lee University Online stands committed to or simply Preacher, Lee University Online stands committed to providing you the education desired to meet your ministry goals. providing you the education desired to meet your ministry goals.

423-614-8370 dal@leeuniversity.edu 423-614-8370 dal@leeuniversity.edu www.leeuniversity.edu www.leeuniversity.edu

41


When it comes to earning a When comeslearned to earning degreeitwe’ve to bea degree we’ve learned to be

FLEXIBLE FLEXIBLE

At CIU, we understand enhancing your ministry or career with a At CIU, weorunderstand enhancing youraministry or career with a seminary graduate degree requires flexible course schedule seminary graduate degree requiresyour a flexible course schedule to fit intoor your busy life. Customize course schedule with to fit into your busyonline life. Customize course schedule with on-campus classes, classes, or your a hybrid of both. Intensive, on-campus online classes, a hybrid of both. Intensive, evening andclasses, weekend classes areoralso available for most CIU evening and classes allows are also foryour most CIU programs. Thisweekend kind of flexibility youavailable to change course programs. This kind of flexibility allows youchange. to change your course delivery options if your life circumstances delivery options if your life circumstances change. If you or someone you know is ready to take the next step toward If you or someone you know is ready to take the next step toward an advanced degree from CIU, visit www.ciu.edu/flexibility. an advanced degree from CIU, visit www.ciu.edu/flexibility.

42

CIU’s Award-Winning Online Courses: CIU’s Award-Winning Online Courses: • Are accredited. •• • • • • •

The same on-campus and Are accredited. online; nothing wateredThe same on-campus and down. online; nothing wateredConnect down. you to other students fromtoallother over the Connect you world. students from all over the Are backed by technical world. support. Are backed by technical support.

www.ciu.edu/flexibility | (800) 777-2227 ext. 5024 | yesciu@ciu.edu Columbia International University admits students of any race, and national or ethnic origin. www.ciu.edu/flexibility | (800) 777-2227 ext.color, 5024 | yesciu@ciu.edu RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE Columbia International University admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.


43


by G I NA D E L A PA

M aybe you finished your undergrad degree like a champ, or maybe you barely squeaked through. But now you’re facing grad school, and it’s a whole new ball game. The reading list is more intense, as are the multiple papers. But don’t be alarmed, for you can still emerge victorious. It will just take some focused effort—and maybe following a few of these tips.

aren’t otherwise available to you. You can publish articles or present at professional conferences. You can do informational interviews with professionals in your field to learn how best to prepare yourself. All of these activities can expand your professional horizons and make the job search much easier.

CONTROL YOUR DESTINY, UNDER GOD Take charge of your life, but remember who it is you live for—and who makes the rules. If you’re not happy with your job, with where you live or any other part of your life, change it. And if you can’t change it, or choose not to for family or personal reasons, find a way to make the best of it.

LEARN HOW TO BE ASSERT I VE Though the word “assertive” often gets a bad rap, it’s hard to imagine a full life without this quality. Contrary to popular opinion, assertiveness is not the

abundantly than if we had tended to them first. C.S. Lewis writes about this. “Aim at heaven,” he says, “and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth, and you get neither.” In grad school, this means focusing time and energy on the activities that produce the greatest results. (A good book on this subject is First Things First by Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill and Rebecca R. Merrill.)

CELEBRATE Whenever you finish an important project or reach a crucial milestone, it’s important to take time to acknowledge it before moving on to the next task—even if it’s only a small celebration, like grabbing a snack, watching a few YouTube videos, taking 10 minutes for a celebratory walk outdoors or cranking up the music. Whatever your celebration of

KEEP A WRIT TEN SET OF GOALS This may sound like Professional Development 101, but how many of us consistently work from a list? You’ll feel even more accomplished in your work when you’re able to cross the most important items off your list—a visual representation of how far you’ve come.

UPGRADE YOUR STUDY SKILLS

GRAD SCHOOL CAN OPEN A LOT OF DOORS THAT AREN’T OTHERWISE AVAILABLE TO YOU AND CAN EXPAND YOUR PROFESSIONAL HORIZONS.

Try reading What Smart Students Know by Adam Robinson. It has great information on how to take better notes, how to “rehearse” for tests rather than simply poring over the material, and ultimately how to get better grades— maybe not with less effort, but with less wasted effort.

same as aggression—in fact, notice how often these two are opposites. Assertiveness means having the utmost respect for the other party, while also including yourself in the equation. And it isn’t just about self-defense. Only those who are assertive can be kind (instead of merely “nice”) and can offer a compliment or say, “Thank you.”

NET WORK

GET YOUR PRIORI T IES STRA IGHT

It’s a corny word, that’s true. But grad school can open a lot of doors that

If we put first things first, “second things” will follow—and follow more

choice, make sure you take in the moment and appreciate each accomplishment. And don’t forget to live in the moment—even during big deadlines and projects. It can be easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees, so make sure to take a step back and appreciate the little things every once in a while. It’ll make your time in school more bearable—and help you keep a healthy perspective when entering the working world.

45


N by A M Y F R A N C I S

obody pays tens of thousands of dollars a year to become an overeducated, underpaid, silvertongued spiritual loafer. More often, people take the path of seminary so they can douse their hearts with the gasoline of truth, light a match and run into the nearest church. But it doesn’t always turn out that way. One key to averting disaster is to know what to expect— and what not to expect. Here are a few of the most common misconceptions people have before entering seminary:

a stronger focus on the essential spiritual disciplines of pastoral life, like prayer and Sabbath. Unfortunately, the institutions these men chose inadvertently taught them to neglect their spiritual lives and, in many areas, proved to be irrelevant to the relational demands of pastoral care. Not all seminaries are like this, however. The trick, then, is to know who you are and what you’re looking for, and then to know what audience your school tends to cater more to. Ask Yourself: What are you in this for? Are you a ministry person or an academics person? Which schools are recommended for your specific goals?

1. SEMINARY IS EITHER ALL MINISTRY FOCUSED OR ALL INTELLECTUALLY FOCUSED

Let’s say you definitely want to go into ministry. Your pastor/mentors/friends sense that grad-level Christian education is your calling and urge you to apply for seminary so that you can make this pastoral dream a reality. You’ve done some discerning yourself and are now ready for seminary to make a better pastor out of you. But slow down for a minute. Seminary might not prepare you the way you expected. In fact, it may not be designed to prepare you on a practical level much at all. I remember one of my first experiences as a seminary student was in a class on Genesis. Although the curriculum was designed to survey the entire book of Genesis, our professor decided to spend most of our time delving deeply into the first three chapters. This involved an unforgettable examination of creation theories, which taught us all that you can still be a Christian and not believe in a literal six-day creation. But eventually one older student had to ask, “How in the world do we teach this to our congregations?” This question, in turn, sparked even more discussion in the class. This is the challenge of a seminary education: Most of what you learn is hard to translate to ministry, unless it’s a course on teaching, preaching or counseling. Some of your learning is going to result in a paradigm shift that will take your thinking about faith completely out of the box, but it will be risky to turn around and try to take your church through that same shift. And then you’ll notice that there are certain fundamental ministry skills that your school will just completely gloss over—like fundraising, for example. At the end of the

Some students (we’ll call them “ministry people”) come to seminary expecting an environment where they can readily connect with other pastors and learn from seasoned ministers who are also professors (but preferably more the former than the latter). Ministry people don’t like to think too philosophically or abstractly, so they prefer their theological learning to have a clearly integrated practical application. Then, on the other end of the spectrum are the more academically oriented students who come to seminary expecting to meet other highly sophisticated thinkers who know how to debate theology and ruminate for fun. As proper theology nerds, academics expect to be given piles of long, complex readings for homework—and this doesn’t faze them. Ironically, these are the students who complain if their school is too good at integrating theory with real-world relevancy, too pedagogical about spiritual disciplines or too “gracious” with grading. At the end of the day, they want their studies to prepare them for a Ph.D., not pastoral work. In reality, most seminaries are a mix of practical ministry application and academically rigorous learning, but tend to lean more heavily toward one side or the other. At some point, you may find yourself slightly disillusioned with your studies depending on which side you tend to lean toward. Ministry people may get disillusioned about their seminary education if their program gives them too much information and not enough spiritual formation. A recent study among male graduates of seminary who went on to enter ministry found that most ministers expected their education to have

2. SEMINARY WILL PERFECTLY PREPARE YOU FOR MINISTRY

47


day, nothing will prepare you for ministry like doing ministry. Ask Yourself: Do you know what it takes to make a living in ministry? Have you talked with at least one experienced minister in your area of interest? Are you aware of the differences between what seminary will offer you and what competencies churches will demand of you?

3. SEMINARY WILL AUTOMATICALLY HELP YOU GET A HIGHER-PAYING JOB “Grad school will guarantee you a higherpaying job”—fact or fiction? In any case, it’s a generalization that requires us to do our homework before we naively assume that this axiom applies to the minister’s career as much as the manager’s or the teacher’s. Fortunately, many seminaries will readily offer their career-saving advice like, “Don’t go for the Ph.D. With your job prospects in your denomination, you’ll never pay off your tuition loan.” Unfortunately, often, the only time a master’s (or Ph.D.) pays is when they literally pay, in the form of a scholarship. It’s been said before and it’s well worth saying again: Don’t apply to seminary because you’re unemployed and hope another degree will somehow help you “jump” into a high-paying job. Going to seminary as something to fill your time while you try to get yourself un-lost is a rash financial choice for which you may kick yourself later. Ask Yourself: What’s your field of interest and what are the current salary prospects? Does your ideal job require a master’s degree? Are you willing to go into debt, work part-time, take extra time to finish your degree?

4. SEMINARY WILL GIVE YOU ALL THE ANSWERS There’s a saying in Greek philosophy that goes something like this: “The more I know, the more I know I don’t know.” While the idol of certainty about everything is something of a curse in Western Christendom, a healthy education frees people up to think outside the box, embrace complexity and mystery, and best of all, delight people with intellectually honest answers like: “That’s a great question that I’ve never thought of before. Let me look into it and get back to you.” Now that’s humble!

48 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE


Some people expect that their school’s pedagogy or approach to Scripture will match their approach. Some people don’t even realize that they read the Bible through the lens of their culture, their upbringing or their denomination. One particularly frustrating discussion group member for a New Testament course would simply wave away our assigned readings on the synoptic gospels’ Greco-Roman cultural context because, to him,

great that we’re all together in one room and not trying to kill each other?” When it comes to inter-denominational seminaries, I often hear students report how much they appreciated being exposed to literature and other resources they wouldn’t have otherwise come across in their own denomination. Protestants overcome their Catholic-phobia and discover theology that, at times, puts Protestant doctrine

MAYBE THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON I LEARNED AT SEMINARY WAS THE FREEDOM OF KNOWING HOW MUCH I DON’T KNOW—AND THE THRILL OF KNOWING HOW MUCH I COULD DISCOVER IF I ONLY STARTED ASKING QUESTIONS. the Holy Spirit dictated the gospels’ content wordfor-word to the human writers. I didn’t know how to disagree with him without sounding like I was trying to destroy his faith. When I first entered seminary, I admit that part of me expected to be preached at rather than taught. Part of me still clung to an old model of education, where the teacher is the all-knowing mouthpiece for truth and the students are passive truth-absorbing sponges. That model has never cultivated wisdom. Maybe the most important lesson I learned at seminary was the freedom of knowing how much I don’t know—and the thrill of knowing how much I could discover if I only started asking questions. Ask Yourself: How do you approach biblical interpretation? Are you comfortable with your views, assumptions and spiritual practices being challenged, and perhaps even being disproved? Does your school have a good reputation for faculty-student interaction?

5. EVERYONE IN YOUR SEMINARY WILL THINK LIKE YOU I recently finished a class on evangelism and the missional church where the instructor, an Anabaptist pastor, opened the course by having all 20 of us students introduce ourselves and state our denominational backgrounds. It turned out we had a good mix in the room: Pentecostals, Baptists, Mennonites, Christian Reformed, Presbyterians, non-denominational and others. At the end of the introduction, our instructor commented somewhat tongue-in-cheek, “Isn’t it

to shame. Baptists find refreshing in classical Pentecostalism, and non-denominational kids like me learn to appreciate liturgical churches. This is the kind of unity Jesus prayed for, and it’s bound by love rather than the need for us to agree about everything. Ask Yourself: Are you looking for a school belonging to your particular denomination or an inter-denominational experience? Do you agree with the school’s statement of beliefs? Does the school have a reputation of being more on the conservative side or more toward the liberal side? Regardless of who you are or why you’re considering graduate studies, I can guarantee seminary will open you up to more possibilities than you can imagine. I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve met who came into seminary with a straight-forward trajectory for their career path, only to have that five-year plan blown to bits, then reconstructed into something completely new. I’ve watched as people are formed cognitively, grow in confidence—in both God and their own potential— and come into their own. Frankly, I think we’d have a healthier, stronger and more vibrant church if it looked a little more like seminary. AMY FRANCIS is a theology student at Tyndale Seminary.

She writes to connect great people and engage them with great ideas. Read more of her stuff at amyhopefrancis.com.

49


NO, GR A D SCHOOL DOESN ’ T CONTROL YOUR LIFE 50 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE


by B O N N I E K R I S T I A N

T

he first few months in grad school, I had no life. My husband and I had moved halfway across the country for my program, and we knew exactly zero people in our new city. We were both still telecommuting to our old jobs, so we didn’t have any local coworkers to befriend. And the only neighbor we’d met apparently missed the memo about being “Minnesota nice.” Between my academic load and our complete lack of a social life, most days consisted of the two of us, plus our pets, going stir crazy in our tiny apartment. Class. Work. Study. Sleep. Repeat. But grad school doesn’t have to be like this. Yes, it’s challenging, and yes, you will spend some weeks with your face buried in a book and your fingers glued to your keyboard—but not every week. Here are some tips I’ve learned that can help you finish your degree and also have a life outside of school:

SCHEDULE, SCHEDULE, SCHEDULE When I was in college, my roommates used to make fun of me for scheduling recreational time. I was on the three-year plan, and had to maintain my GPA to keep an academic scholarship. This pressure brought out my innate love of organization, and I planned every week to the minute. It generally worked well, but when my scheduling habits had me insisting that ice cream runs should take precisely 25 minutes because I had reading to finish, I (rightly) started getting grief from friends. As much as my scheduling tendencies sometimes get out of hand, the ability to manage my time has been a lifesaver in school. Though course loads tend to look lighter in grad school than they do in undergrad, the reading, research and writing you’ll do outside of class is not to be taken lightly. Setting a schedule for yourself on a daily or weekly basis is the single most important thing you can

do to stay on top of your academics while still having a life. I don’t recommend timing your trips to get ice cream, but setting aside time specifically for recreation will let you relax and focus on fun—not everything else on your to-do list.

DO YOU REALLY NEED PERFECT GRADES? In high school, you have to get good grades to get into college. In college, you have to get good grades to get into grad school. In grad school— well, it depends. Obviously, it’s important to learn the material, but success in grad school doesn’t necessarily mean straight A’s. Before you drive yourself into the ground seeking a 4.0, take stock of your professional and academic goals. Though this will vary by field, if you’re currently pursuing your terminal degree, perfect grades are probably not necessary. If you plan to continue to an additional degree, that’s another story. Talk to your adviser to get an expert opinion on what kind of academic record you’ll need to take your next step.

CALL YOUR MOM I guarantee she wants to hear from you, and I also guarantee that staying in touch with family and friends will help you get through grad school well. A 2012 study by Daniel Eisenberg at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor found that graduate students are more than twice as likely to experience symptoms of depression than the general population. Eisenberg also observed that lack of social support was a major contributor to those symptoms, producing a cycle of loneliness and lethargy. As much as you love your field, academic enthusiasm alone can’t carry you to graduation. Your friends and family members are eager to help you through this huge process you’ve undertaken—so let them help. Whether it’s FaceTiming an old friend as you write a paper or calling your mom while you drive home after class, keep in contact with the people who love you.

YOU’RE TOO OLD TO SKIP EXERCISE If you’re headed to grad school, you’re probably at least 22. Even at 26, I can already tell you: Your body 51


is slowing down. Yes, it’s too soon! But for most of us, it’s happening. If you don’t regularly exercise, grad school is the time to start. Exercise will clear your head, lower your stress level, help you sleep better and increase your energy for fun, non-school stuff. As a bonus, grad school is probably one of the only times you’ll have access to a free gym. Use it. During busier weeks, even a 15-minute time to pray and walk around campus between classes will help you stay physically, mentally and spiritually healthy. On a related note, prioritize nutritious meals and plenty of sleep. Caffeine is awesome, but think of it more as the spare in your trunk than the four tires that get you around on a daily basis: It’s fine to use it when you need it, but relying on it constantly means something’s wrong. If you require multiple cups of coffee or energy drinks daily, it may be time to re-evaluate your eating, sleep and exercise habits.

temptation to slack off—the other coffee shop patrons will know if you’re just watching Netflix.

MAKE TIME TO JUST DO NOTHING Speaking of Netflix, repeat after me: There is nothing wrong with spend-

AS MUCH AS YOU LOVE YOUR FIELD, ACADEMIC ENTHUSIASM ALONE CAN’T CARRY YOU TO GRADUATION.

EXPLORE YOUR CITY If you’ve moved to a new area for grad school, go exploring! Take advantage of your comparatively flexible schedule to see what your new locale has to offer. Rent or buy a bike to get the feel of different neighborhoods while you run errands. Take advantage of online resources like Yelp and Meetup to find places and people you’ll enjoy, and invite interesting people from your classes to come along. It’s even worthwhile to check out tourism websites; many will have “100 Free Things to Do” lists for your new haunts, and free is always better on a grad school budget. Long study sessions can be improved by a change of scenery, too. Reading in a new coffee shop can be just as productive as reading at home or in the library, and it’s way more fun. Plus, there’s much less

52 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE

ing an evening watching TV. There is nothing wrong with taking your dog on a long walk to nowhere in particular. There is nothing wrong with putting down your textbook after you’ve tried to read the same page five times and failed so you can play video games instead. Seriously, in grad school, your brain will get tired. Sometimes, you’ll need to shut down for a few hours. Even God rested after creating the world—you can take some time to chill when you finish up that term paper.

FIND COMMUNITY AT CHURCH Finding a new church is always daunting, and we all have mental checklists of what we want out of our place of worship. Though many of the factors we consider when choosing a church are important, in this season of your life, community should take special precedence.

Are you in a church where people know your name? Where you’re recognized—and cared for—when you show up on Sunday? Do you have a small group that can keep you accountable? That will mourn when you mourn, rejoice when you rejoice and scream about your super annoying paper assignment when you scream about your super annoying paper assignment? You need these things. You need this support. You need this community. Graduate school can be a very individualistic process, and that completely makes sense for many academic purposes. But it can also lead to us seeing ourselves in isolation from friends, church and God. Community worship in a large and small group context is vital to maintaining our connection to the real world and to remembering our call to seek and spread the Kingdom. Without that regular human engagement, weeks of spiritual dry spells spent feeling disconnected from God can all too easily stretch into months or even years. There’s a story in Acts 3 where Peter and John heal a lame man in the Temple grounds, and then Peter preaches a short sermon to the amazed onlookers. He uses a name for God that only appears this one time in the Bible: the Author of Life. If God is calling you to be in grad school, He’s also willing to help you survive it. If you want to have a life outside class, staying close to the Author of Life (and His people) is the most important thing you can do.

BONNIE KRISTIAN is a freelance writer

and graduate student at Bethel Seminary. She may be found at bonniekristian.com or @bonniekristian.


PREPARE TO PROTECT AND DEF END AT LIBERTY LAW, STUDENTS LEARN TO DEFEND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY, PROTECT THE SANCTITY OF LIFE, AND PRESERVE THE BIBLICAL VIEW OF MARRIAGE THROUGH:

• An unrivaled six-semester Lawyering Skills program • Curriculum that seamlessly integrates faith and reason • Student-oriented faculty skilled in various specialties of law

LawAdmissions@liberty.edu | (434) 592-5300 | Law.Liberty.edu 53


by E D D I E K AU F H O L Z

J ust look at you. Wide eyed and ready to change the world. Ready to read every word of every book. Ready to take out some loans, but “absolutely pay them off within two years.” Bless your sweet heart, you brand new seminary student. You’ve got so much ahead of you. These three to 16 years are going to be tremendous—as long as you know how to get the most out of your experience. I went to seminary, and I did not get the most out of my experience. I loved school. It was a challenging and refining journey though theology, philosophy, history and self-exploration. I sat at the feet (it’s metaphoric, they give you desks) of some brilliant professors and fellow students. But I also treated it like a job. I laced up my boots, shouldered down, and just kept plowing through. Sometimes, that is what you have to do. But it shouldn’t be the norm. Seminary isn’t a job, it’s something altogether different.

WHAT SEMINARY IS Seminary is a magical time in the life of those called to pursue that training. Dur-

ing these years, you’ll gain knowledge that draws you into a deeper understanding of who God is, why He does what He does, and how we’re to live in response. You’ll gain this understanding though a number of means: First, you will devour the Bible in ways you never have before. It will be painful, and when you’re doing an outline of the book of Amos at 3 a.m., you’ll want to just quit and steal Andy Stanley’s sermons. But when that outline is done and you’ve critically reviewed it in class, you’ll realize Scripture is slightly less mysterious and infinitely more beautiful to you. Second, you will hear the wisdom of women and men who have been devouring theological academia for as long as you’ve been alive. You will hear lectures about everything. Seminary professors are completely over-the-top in regard to the amount of enjoyment they get from hearing their own oratory. However, they don’t do this out of arrogance, they do this because they know that if you’ll pay attention and stop messing around on Facebook (oh right, you’re taking notes), you’ll grow deeper in your understanding of God. And finally, seminary provides a oncein-a-lifetime opportunity for community. You will likely never be around a more focused and malleable group of individuals. Together, you will quiz each other

dom and community. But as important as it is that you realize what you’re about to get into, it’s equally (if not more) important to realize that there are a lot of things that seminary was never designed to be.

WHAT SEMINARY ISN’T By design, seminary isn’t inherently a place where you do the work of vocational ministry. You’ll read about ministry, and you’ll write papers about some obscure book your professor wrote and then assigned to you (yes, they do that). But mostly, you’re just going to inhale knowledge and live in the theoretical realm—which is good. There is a danger though. You see, we can spend so long in this theoretical realm that we begin to lie to ourselves and believe we’re actually doing the work we’ve been called to do. Believing that would be akin to watching the Food Network for a few years and then assuming you could open a Michelin three-star restaurant. You may know everything there is about food, but until you pick up a spatula, you can’t scramble an egg, let alone prepare Cantimpalo chorizo wrapped swordfish. Seminary is a place where you study ministry, the Church and theology like they’re in a petri dish. You explore the angles, you zoom in and out, you poke and prod until you’ve learned something.

ON DAY ONE OF SEMESTER ONE, FIND SOMETHING—ANYTHING—THAT KEEPS YOU GROUNDED IN THE REAL WORLD. and suffer through the trials of Hebrew and Greek. Together, you will be formed and reformed by the firehose of knowledge that you’re drinking from. You may not be around these people for long, but the time you spend together will be so concentrated that you’ll end up walking together through the rest of your lives. That, in its purest form, is what seminary is: Biblical study, professorial wis-

But what it isn’t is everything you need in order to be successful in the field you’re moving toward. So, here are four things I wish I’d done with my time in seminary:

1. YOU NEED TO GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY I don’t mean to be name-dropper, but one time I did get to interview Hillsong NYC Pastor Carl Lentz. We talked about

55


P H O T O C R E D I T: B R I A N H O G A N

Just think, if you follow these suggestions, you could potentially be preaching in front of a drum set.

a number of topics, one of which was his thoughts on traditional seminary. “Seminaries freak me out because it’s all head stuff,” he told me. “You’re hearing about preaching from a guy who’s never preached. You’re taking a church planting class from a guy who’s never planted a church. You’re taking theories from guys who all they’ve ever known is theories. “That’s not happening at Hillsong Church [where he received a majority of his training]. You know who’s teaching junior high ministry at the bible college? The junior high pastor. You know who’s going to teach you how to preach? The main guy who preaches every week.

56 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE

It’s like a guerrilla warfare type training ground ... they say, ‘Cool, you go to class this time, then pick an area and get serving.’ I think that’s special.” Now before you get in a tizzy, Lentz was in full-on preacher mode at this point in the interview, and riffing as only a pastor can. So, I’m not sure that he disagrees with the traditional seminary model as much as he may seem to here. However, the point he’s making is superb. That is, we can’t relegate our time in seminary to purely the acquisition of knowledge. Granted, a disproportionately high amount of time will be spent with books. But we must do everything

we can to actually do ministry while we’re learning about it. This will look different depending on your interests and passions, but on day one of semester one, find something— anything—that keeps you in contact with and grounded in the real world. If we don’t keep our hands in the soil, we forget there’s an actual field to tend.

2. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE NON-REQUIRED STUFF The beauty of seminary is not just what’s offered in the lecture hall, but what’s available extracurricularly. In other words, what you can learn and experience outside of the syllabus.


At my beloved Asbury Theological Seminary, there are weekly chapel services where the school leverages its position and resources to bring in highcaliber speakers. Additionally, students practice preaching some of the finest sermons you’ve ever heard, while still other students are brave enough to share their testimony in front of a tearful and inspired congregation. And how do I know Asbury provides this phenomenal content? Because my friend Teddy told me about chapel every time he’d go. Alas, I was too busy studying and writing and couldn’t be bothered with the life-changing stuff. If you’re going to school just to sit in class, get a library card and an Amazon Prime membership, then save tens of thousands of dollars by just staying home and reading the books. However, if you’re there to get an experience, do as much extracurricular stuff as you can. Even if it doesn’t totally fit in with your ministry plan, just try it. If the school is offering a weekend of solitude at a monastery, give it a go—you never know what God’s waiting to say. If there’s a student and faculty cookout, save your reading for later and hang out with new, interesting, brilliant people. Essentially, get out of the classroom and into the opportunities that are readily available for your enrichment.

3. BE A LITTLE IRRESPONSIBLE Here’s a glimpse into your future: One of your classmates is going to invite you over for dinner. And instead of talking about anything that’s happening outside the seminary bubble, you’ll have a rowdy discussion of what it must have been like at the first ecumenical council! Huzzah! Good one, chap! Pass the sparkling apple cider!
 It’s an exaggeration, of course, but we have a tendency to become slightly lost in the seminary culture and forget there’s a big world we’re getting prepped to serve. You must war against this. I propose you do this by, every now and again, popping the seminary bubble and being a little reckless.

What do I mean by this? Well, “a friend of mine” used to ditch class once or twice a semester to go hiking with his pals. Also, this friend didn’t follow the entire code of conduct to the letter of the law (I mean really, Psalm 104:15). Additionally, my friend would sometimes be exhausted in his 8 a.m. class because he had stayed up half the night laughing with friends over old stories and dumb antics.

know exactly what the job will be, but you know something. Something clicked in you and pushed you to take that first step toward where you find yourself today. Maybe you’ll write, “Women in jail are forgotten and I want to help.” Whatever the reason is, take a moment, write it down and put that scrap of paper someplace safe—you’ll need it later. Today, as you prepare to start school, you have no clue that a wave is about to

DO AS MUCH EXTRACURRICULAR STUFF AS YOU CAN. GET OUT OF THE CLASSROOM AND INTO THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT ARE READILY AVAILABLE FOR YOUR ENRICHMENT. And what was the end result of this very minor rebellion? It kept him, oh forget it, it kept me grounded as a normal person who could carry on a discussion outside of a spirited Calvinism vs. Arminianism debate. Additionally, being a touch irresponsible opened up a stress release valve that, trust me, you’ll need to figure out how to operate. Seminary can be consuming and stressful, and you’ll be well served by flavoring your experience with some fun and well-placed irresponsibility.

4. REMIND YOURSELF THAT THIS MATTERS Right now, as you’re getting ready to start school, you know very clearly why you’re embarking on this journey. You’ve spent time discussing this crazy seminary idea with God, the people you love and even yourself. Now you know (or at least I hope you know) this is the right move in order to more fully outfit you to do the work God’s calling you to. Knowing that, there’s something you need to do: Write down why it is you’ve decided to go through the trouble of seminary. Maybe it’s a job, and you’ll write, “I want to be an informed and engaging preacher.” Great. Or maybe you don’t

crest over you and that you’re moments away from tumbling in a seemingly endless journey to shore. However, from someone who has made it out alive, I can tell you that it’s worth every uncertain, exhausting, exhilarating and inspiring moment. But through the journey, you’re going to forget what on earth compelled you to actually pay for this craziness. That’s when you need to look at the paper. Because seminary isn’t everything, but you’ll forget that. It seems like a big deal because it’s just so all-consuming, but really it’s a blip of time in your life—a life that will be spent sharing the Gospel and serving the people who compelled you down this road in the first place. So keep that paper handy, as you’ll need to be reminded, multiple times, that what you’re doing matters. Never forget that it’s about people, not a degree. May God richly bless your labors long after you get your degree.

EDDIE KAUFHOLZ is a minister, counselor and

writer who is married to Brianne and has two girls. He can be heard weekly on the RELEVANT Podcast. Find him on Twitter @EdwardorEddie.

57


WHAT A

MASTER ’S DEGREE CAN ’ T DO

by C U R T I S JA M E S

Y

ou wake up in your swanky downtown apartment, get dressed in your favorite business-casual attire and speed off to work in your trendy new coup. At your new job, you no longer have to perform the menial

58 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE

tasks that bogged down your previous “desk job.” Now, you command respect. Whether you’re delivering high-power orders in the boardroom or traveling overseas to monitor the status of your organization’s latest startup, you have the authority to make real change. When you drive home after eight fulfilling hours of work, you cannot help but smile in eager anticipation of the

next day. You have finally attained your dream. Fact: Graduate school is not a golden ticket to this reality. While most of us know great accomplishments require hard work over long periods of time, many are tempted to believe graduate school can automatically launch eager students into dream


careers where passions and skills relentlessly thrive. Unfortunately, an extra line on your resume will never possess miraculous power, even if it costs six figures and has numerous “M.B.A.’s,” “M.Div.’s” or “M.S.W.’s” attached to it. Many ambitious students complete graduate school and find themselves stuck in heaps of debt with few job prospects. With that said, there are many legitimate professional and personal advantages to having a master’s or doctorate program under your belt, and depending on your ambitions, those could be worth the sacrifice of a lot of time and money. These contradictory perspectives show that before deciding whether to commit a few years of your life to reading obscure journals full of six-syllable words, the question has to be asked: Is grad school worth it? I want to outline a number of pros and cons an admissions counselor likely won’t tell you. I’m no education expert, but I’ve jumped through enough highereducation hurdles to know the practical advantages and disadvantages of graduate school are often left out of university welcome brochures. Consider this Grad School 101.

MOTIVATIONS MATTER Plain and simple: If you’re coming in with the wrong motivations, graduate school could be a whopping mistake. Dissatisfaction with your current circumstances, feeling obligation to continue school, lack of direction or a desire to spend a few more years after your undergrad on a college campus playing Xbox until 4 a.m. every night are all dangerous reasons to consider going back to school.

So before devoting any more time to exploring prestigious-looking university websites with smiling models on their homepages, ask yourself this fundamental question: Are you considering graduate school because you have a vision for your career or because you lack one? I once knew someone who spent weeks applying to 11 different grad programs in separate fields, ranging from politics and business to entertainment and technology. While some people may enjoy shelling out hundreds of dollars to write lengthy existential essays on the convergence of experience and intellect, the application process is typically grueling and frustratingly expensive. Therefore, before you apply—and more importantly, before you decide whether to attend—prayerfully define your career goals and how you believe a particular graduate program could help or hinder you in achieving them. More than likely, if you’re not sure what you want to do but attend grad school for lack of a better option, you could be pigeonholed in a field you do not like with debt you don’t want to pay.

A WORD TO THE WISE Obtaining a graduate degree can be a great way to stand out from the crowd. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only about 10 percent of Americans hold master’s degrees while more than 30 percent hold bachelor’s degrees. However, before you assume an extra degree will boost your chances of landing a great job, do your homework and figure out what types of degrees the people who get hired in your field actually hold. For example, if you want to work for an international relief agency, you may be better suited acquiring a tangible skill such as nursing, urban planning or business administration than obtaining a master’s degree in international development (of course, this varies depending on the organization). Some organizations hire most of their employees for entry-level positions, so you could actually educate yourself out of a job by obtaining a master’s degree. On

AN EXTRA LINE ON YOUR RESUME WILL NEVER POSSESS MIRACULOUS POWER, EVEN IF IT COSTS SIX FIGURES AND HAS NUMEROUS “M.B.A.’S,” “M.DIV.’S” OR “M.S.W.’S” ATTACHED TO IT. For help solidifying your ambitions, consider asking some professionals for “informational interviews” (a fancy phrase for boosting people’s egos by buying them coffee and asking them about their jobs). But if you know what you want to do and feel highly motivated to become an expert in that field, grad school could certainly be worth it.

the other hand, if you have a strong passion for a less-tangible subject, such as anthropology or global health, you should not allow a competitive job market to kill your dreams of becoming an expert in that niche. Although this seems obvious, it is important to remember that you do not have to go to gradu-

59


ate school to study a subject indepth. Half of grad school consists of reading academic journals, and chances are, you have Internet access and therefore have the ability to type phrases like “historic verisimilitude” or “technological disintermediation” into Google Scholar. Unlimited knowledge is at your fingertips for free, therefore, master’s degrees and Ph.D.’s are only worth the effort if you know you want to make a given subject area your profession.

me to one journalist who connected me to my current boss. This access has been priceless.

THE REAL BENEFIT

GRADUATE SCHOOL MAY NOT BE A GOLDEN TICKET TO YOUR DREAM JOB, BUT IT CAN BE ONE VALUABLE STEP TOWARD IT.

Let’s talk about the real perks. Graduate school can increase your mental stamina, boost your professional credibility and enable you to dominate one category of Trivial Pursuit, but its greatest benefit can be summarized in one word: access. Giant corporations and professional organizations rarely open their inner doors to random strangers, but graduate students have the opportunity to apply for internships, fellowships and various other “-ships” with these entities. Moreover, the same professors who might have seen you as one name on a long class roster during your undergrad will begin treating you as a peer, inviting you to take part in their cuttingedge research. By enrolling in a respected graduate program, you are grafted into a network of intellectuals and thought leaders who can connect you with bosses and bigwigs in the real world. It’s therefore essential to consider where a school is and to whom it’s connected before applying. When I arrived in Washington, D.C. in 2012, I knew no one and had no job prospects. Over the course of my studies, however, one professor connected

60 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE

THE DREADED QUESTION If you’re still seriously considering graduate school, you have to answer the final dreaded question: How will you pay for it? There are many biblical debates as to whether or not debt is OK. When I began considering taking out loans to

may qualify for federal “public service loan forgiveness,” where your remaining federal debts are wiped away after 10 years of making payments while working at a nonprofit. The main point is this: Debt is not an issue to take lightly. It should only be used if no other options exist after you have sought out grants or scholarships and prayerfully sought the advice of individuals with financial wisdom.

SO… IS IT WORTH IT?

help pay for classes, multiple friends called me and quoted Proverbs, saying, “Dude, don’t you know? ‘The borrower is the slave of the lender.’” Since I did not go to graduate school for theology, I will have to defer to my seminarian brethren to define the circumstances in which debt is OK. Certainly, grad school is not worth financial ruin, but with a combination of scholarships, loans and a lot of frugal living, I believe an advanced degree is worth taking on some debt if it enables you to take a significant jump forward in your career. Of course, debt can be an unbearable burden if you do not have a plan in place to pay it off. Before signing the dotted line to receive $40,000 in federal loans, for example, ask yourself if the kind of job you will get once you have your degree will give you a salary large enough to repay this amount. If you plan to work in the nonprofit field, you

Before I officially decided to go to graduate school, I remember thinking, “Why won’t God simply tell me what to do?” Although I know some people have received very specific direction from God on graduate school, more than likely, you will have to rely on limited wisdom and knowledge to decide whether graduate school is worth it for you. This may seem risky, but just as Abraham obeyed God and followed Him “not knowing where he was going,” you can take a leap of faith even if you don’t know exactly where you will land on the other side. Once you have prayerfully weighed the pros and cons, you should feel the freedom to decide what is best. Graduate school may not be a golden ticket to your dream job, but it can be one valuable step toward it, and if you’re a nerd like me, it’s a great excuse to spend countless hours reading 10-pound books while connecting with professionals who can give you a leg up. So now I will ask you: Is grad school worth it for you? CURTIS JAMES currently resides in

Washington, D.C., where he is pursuing a master’s in international media.


T R A NSFORM PO T EN TIA L IN T O E X PONEN TIA L

WHERE IS GOD CALLING YOU TO LEAD? It may be in a church. Or it may be in an office, a theater, a research lab, a neighborhood, or another unexpected pulpit. Starting this fall, Fuller is giving students lifetime access to a bold new level of vocational support. We’ll help you maximize your theological preparedness for leadership, wherever God calls—for life.

FULLER.EDU/VOCATION


W H AT YO U S H O U L D K N OW

LEARNING WELL ADVICE FROM A PROFESSOR he hard thing about grad school is how, well, unknown it is. You go in expecting it to be more or less like your undergraduate experience, only to quickly learn that you have entered a very different, very daunting game. We spoke with Dr. Michael Joseph, a graduate professor in Nebraska, about the most common misconceptions graduate students have about their grad school experience and what they should know ahead of time to be prepared for the different type of learning they’ll be doing.

T

DON’T EXPECT INSTRUCTORS TO HOLD YOUR HAND Approach your grad school education more like a new job than a set of instructions. Your professors will give you guidance, but they’re expecting you to take initiative and make the experience your own. The classroom is only the beginning of your education in grad school—you have to take charge of extra work and learning after class ends.

FOCUS ON GAINING KNOWLEDGE INSTEAD OF PASSING TESTS It’s important to pass tests, but grad school is really about mastering material—not just memorizing it so you can regurgitate it on the test and then empty your brain. Making the grade is all for nothing if you’re not learning the material and, more importantly, learning how to learn the material.

62 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE

Y OUR P R OF E S S OR S A R E E X P E C T I NG Y OU T O TA K E I N I T I AT I V E A ND M A K E T HE E X P E R I E NC E Y OUR O W N . DON’T DEPEND TOO MUCH ON TEXTBOOKS In grad school, instructors expect grad students to stay current on things being published now instead of textbooks that might be dated. Don’t rely too heavily on the material provided—stay hungry for the most relevant data available.

REALIZE YOUR EDUCATION IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, NOT YOUR PROFESSOR’S Most graduate instructors feel their job is to facilitate a great education that the student provides for themselves. It’s not

something that’s simply passed down from teacher to student. Think of your instructors less as coaches and more as counselors.

DON’T DEPEND ON WHAT HAPPENS IN THE CLASSROOM A lecture is not where a grad student should expect all the information to come from. The lecture is foundational, but the student is expected to find other sources. The information you need won’t just come from your notes and the assigned readings. Great grad students will go outside the classroom to identify sources and then bring that to the classroom experience.


EDUCATING doers • changers •

LEADERS

Learn to lead at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary with disciplined study of Scripture, vibrant community life and dedicated faculty mentors. Ground your ministry in peace and justice, worship and witness. Study where you are with Master of Divinity Connect. Or immerse yourself in campus life with our Master of Divinity Campus and Master of Arts programs. Contact admissions@ambs.edu to get started online or to arrange a visit to our campus in Elkhart, Ind.

Learn more: www.ambs.edu Like us: www.facebook.com/ followAMBS Special information for Relevant readers: ambs.edu/welcome 63


W H AT YO U S H O U L D K N OW

BE PREPARED ADVICE FROM A STUDENT ltimately, the only way to really figure out what grad school is like is to get in there and try it for yourself. But a little preparation can’t hurt. We spoke with Shaka Mitchell, who received his master’s degree from the Wake Forest University School of Law, about what he wishes he had known before he went:

U

PREPARE TO DO A TON OF READING The biggest surprise from undergrad to grad school, for me, was the sheer quantity of reading that I was not fully prepared for, and how awkwardly exhausting that would be. I remember, vividly, a professor who required you to stand up if she asked you a question. And when a friend of mine stood up, in about 10 seconds, it became clear that he had not read. She told him to “Sit down, because you’re obviously not prepared to answer my questions.” It was a moment of “OK, we cannot just coast by, skimming material.”

CHOOSE A DIFFICULT PROGRAM The big takeaway from graduate school is how well it refines your ability to think and to problem solve. Some of them do a great job at that. Some of them don’t. I think people should go to a grad program that is as rigorous as you can find.

EVERYONE IS TRYING TO DO THE SAME THING A big difference is that people want to be in grad school because they’re pursuing the same career you are. That’s so different from the diversity of thought and person-

64 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE

THE BIG TAKE AWAY FROM GR ADUATE SCHOOL IS HOW WELL I T REF INES YOUR ABIL I T Y TO THINK AND TO PROBLEM SOLVE. ality you meet in undergrad. I never had any roommates in undergrad who were the same major as me. You go to grad school and everyone is trying to do the same thing you’re trying to do. Sometimes, that can be frustrating. You miss that diversity.

WAITING A LITTLE CAN MAKE BIG IMPROVEMENTS One of the nice things about going to grad school later in your career, after you’ve had a job for a while, is that you go back with a different type of focus. I had classmates who

had a family and had kids at home. They were focused. They knew why they were doing this. In some ways, that gave them a real clarity you lack if you just came straight from undergrad.

GRAD SCHOOL COSTS A LOT Honestly, I wish I would have known how expensive it is. That’s something people don’t have a great appreciation for, and you need to consider it. If you are taking out a lot of student loans, it’s pretty expensive. We’ve recently moved. My monthly student loan payment was within a hundred dollars of what my mortgage was.


YOU DON’T HAVE TO LEAVE YOUR MINISTRY BEHIND TO GO TO SEMINARY.

Wesley Seminary’s innovative approach allows you to stay in your current ministry setting while attending seminary. Assignments are linked to your individual ministry context, challenging you to apply what you are learning. Ours is a new – and highly integrated – approach where Bible, theology and church history are woven into every course, along with active, hands-on, practical ministry.

seminary.indwes.edu

877-673-0009

Master of Divinity Maestría en Divinidad en Español Master of Arts Master of Practical Theology Certificate in Church Planting and Multiplication

ONSITE OR ONLINE 65


Tuition Scholarships Superb Teaching Face-to-Face Relationships Bridge Building Engagement with the World

800.264.1839 | lpts.edu

Jennine Money MDiv Student Georgetown, DE

Explore these degrees | Master of Divinity, MA Marriage & Family Therapy, MA (Religion), Doctor of Ministry 66 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE


Something is missing in theological education.

You.

We believe who you are is essential to the work you are called to do. At The Seattle School, our embodied and relational approach trains the whole person for their unique role in transforming the world.

Fill in the rest of the picture at theseattleschool.edu u...

...

&

A member of the Association of Theological Schools 67


68 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE


69


PA RT N E R D I R EC TO RY Here are a few schools that have partnered with RELEVANT. Find more information to help with your school search online at RELEVANTU.com.

ANABAPTIST MENNONITE BIBLICAL SEMINARY (p. 63)

COLORADO CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY (p. 25)

ELKHART, IN / ambs.edu

LAKEWOOD, CO / online.ccu.edu

ASBURY THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (p. 35)

COLUMBIA INTERNAT IONAL UNIVERSIT Y (p. 42)

WILMORE, KY / asburyseminary.edu

COLUMBIA, SC / ciu.edu/flexibility

ASHLAND THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (p. 16)

DENVER SEMINARY (p. 21)

ASHLAND, OH / seminary.ashland.edu

LITTLETON, CO / denverseminary.edu

AUSTIN PRESBY TERIAN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (p. 7)

DALL AS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (p. 11)

AUSTIN, TX / austinseminary.edu

DALLAS, TX / dts.edu

A ZUSA PACIFIC UNIVERSIT Y (p. 9)

EASTERN UNIVERSIT Y (p. 69)

AZUSA, CA / apu.edu/maym

ST. DAVIDS, PA / eastern.edu

BAYLOR TRUET T SEMINARY (p. 8)

FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (p. 61)

WACO, TX / baylor.edu/truett

PASADENA, CA / fuller.edu/vocation

BE A DISCIPLE (p. 43)

GOLDEN GATE BAP T IST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (p. 39)

ONLINE / beadisciple.com

CA IRN UNIVERSIT Y (p. 29) LANGHORNE MANOR, PA / cairn.edu

CALVIN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (p. 6) GRAND RAPIDS, MI / calvinseminary.edu

MILL VALLEY, CA / online.ggbts.edu

GRADUATE INST ITUTE OF APPLIED LINGUIST ICS (p. 14) DALLAS, TX / gial.edu

GORDON-CONWELL THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (inside cover) SOUTH HAMILTON, MA / gordonconwell.edu/

partnership

70 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE


INDIANA WESLEYAN UNIVERSIT Y (p. 65) MARION, IN / seminary.indwes.edu

PIT TSBURGH THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (p. 20) PITTSBURGH, PA / pts.edu

LEE UNIVERSIT Y (p. 41)

REGENT UNIVERSIT Y (p. 31)

CLEVEL AND, TN / leeuniversity.edu

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA / regent.edu/success

LIBERT Y UNIVERSIT Y SCHOOL OF L AW (p. 53)

THE SEAT TLE SCHOOL (p. 67)

LYNCHBURG, VA / liberty.edu/law

SEATTLE, WA / theseattleschool.edu

LOUISV ILLE SEMINARY (p. 66)

SEAT TLE UNIVERSIT Y (p. 68)

LOUISVILLE, KY / lpts.edu

SEATTLE, WA / seattleu.edu/stm

MCCORMICK THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (p. 12)

SOUTHWESTERN BAP T IST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (p. 3)

CHICAGO, IL / mccormick.edu

FORT WORTH, TX / college.swbts.edu

MIDWESTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (p. 27)

UNION UNIVERSIT Y (p. 5)

KANSAS CITY, MO / mbts.edu

JACKSON, TN / uu.edu/online

MOODY THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (p. 17)

UNITED THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (p. 2)

CHICAGO, IL / moody.edu/mtsrelevant

NEW BRIGHTON, MN / unitedseminary.edu

MEMPHIS TEACHER RESIDENCY (p. 19)

UNIVERSIT Y OF DUBUQUE SEMINARY (p. 13)

MEMPHIS, TN / memphistr.org

OKLAHOMA CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY (back cover) EDMOND, OK / oc.edu/gradtheology

DUBUQUE, IA / udts.dbq.edu

UNIVERSIT Y OF NORTHWESTERN (p. 23) ST. PAUL, MN / unwsp.edu/mba14

OLIVET NA ZARENE UNIVERSIT Y (p. 4)

WESLEY SEMINARY (p. 10)

BOURBONNAIS, IL / olivet.edu

WASHINGTON, D.C. / wesleyseminary.edu

ORAL ROBERTS UNIVERSIT Y (p. 15)

WESTERN SEMINARY (p. 33)

TULSA, OK / oru.edu/seminarydayvisits

PORTLAND, OR / westernseminary.edu/

noshortcuts1

71


SUBSCRIBE NOW LIKE RELEVANT U ? YOU’LL LOVE RELEVANT. GET THE MAGAZINE FOR A GENERATION OF WORLD-CHANGERS LIKE YOU. 72 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE


SUBSCRIBE TODAY AND GET 6 ISSUES OF THE PRINT AND TABLET MAGAZINE, 4 EXCLUSIVE ALBUMS AND MORE! SUBSCRIBE TODAY AT

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM/SUBSCRIBE 3


In your lifetime, you may not need to save humanity from a flood. But you need intense study to become the Christian leader God wants you to be. With regionally-accredited programs and affordable classes just one day a week in the Oklahoma City metro, you can get the knowledge your calling demands. CHRISTIAN MINISTRY ---- Choose from three master’s degrees ----

DIVINITY THEOLOGICAL STUDIES

Our caring, expert faculty includes Oxford-educated professor Dr. Jim Baird, who specializes in Christian evidences and philosophy of religion. He is a local pulpit minister and a highly-sought speaker for services and special events around the world.

www.oc.edu/gradtheology #OCisHome 4 RELEVANT U _ GR ADUATE

Profile for RELEVANT Media Group

RELEVANT U - Graduate Edition - Issue 7 - 2014/2015  

RELEVANT U - Graduate Edition - Issue 7 - 2014/2015  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded