Yesterday I had some correspondence regarding my continued education, as I’m strongly considering either doing a ThD or a PhD program. Wading through a variety of programs has been kind of exhausting.
I have to really think about my goals. If I intend to teach at an academic institution, I basically have to transition from pastoral life to the academic world and seriously consider moving (Aberdeen?). But if I intend to remain a pastor, I need to find a non-residential program (Greenwich, Regent, Fuller, RITS?).
So what’s my goal: I want to continue developing what I call “academic excellence.” It seems like a lot of pastors transition from seminary training and get caught up in pastoral ministry and lose many of the skills that they gained (Greek or theological reflection, for example!). I want to continue learning and I think I probably need some sort of program to keep that directed. And I believe this will actually help me continue in what I call “Pastoral growth.” Thinking theologically is an act of worship, or it certainly should be! Not all thinking is worship-minded, but Jesus did say to love the Lord with all our mind. Thus, intellectual reflection can be an act of worship (more on this in later posts).
I want to remain faithful in study and faithful as a pastor. And I’m quite certain I am called to the congregation I’m at for a long, long time. I think churches fair best when pastors remain long term. But I also want to continue to research and stretch myself in the academic realm.
At any rate, I’ve narrowed down an area of research, so I’m pretty excited about that.
Back to your regularly scheduled broadcast…
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.
Either way, Pastoral or aiming to teach at an institute of higher learning we are supposed to “keep the edge sharp” study and review of our education is essential to be able effective in our life call either way. Some like myself probably wont study to the level of Phd but will continue to be read and use all the resources available, including you……lol! if you dont mind.
You certainly aren’t the only one in that predicament. I’m nearly through a number of Ph.D. applications, but know that I have a pastoral calling that I will continue to foster. I’m always glad to hear of others following like paths. BTW…if you haven’t yet read Eugene Peterson’s “The Pastor: A Memoir” I would highly recommend it.