Friday, October 9, 2009

seminary and free $??? Oh ya!

I've been going to seminary since January of this year. Seminary is something I've wanted to complete for quite some time, but it was a difficult process figuring out where to attend. Most seminaries have a distance learning program, so it took a while to figure out which one was best for me. In the end I chose Western Seminary and have been very happy with that choice. I'm in my third class, which is interpreting Genesis - Song of Solomon. This portion of Scripture is either something I know little about, or know something about but am gaining a much better understanding because of this class. I am able to watch DVD lectures throughout the week, participate in forums with people taking the same class all around the country, and turn in papers online. While it doesn't quite have the effect of being in class with people, it is still able to provide a good measure of depth and learning.

As you might imagine, funding your master's degree can be difficult. Noelle and I are following a budgeting plan to pay for each class in full (usually around $1600 per class), but it certainly has been a stretch. In the end it is a matter of faith and "putting my money where my mouth is" quite literally. I believe I am called to teach and preach, and thus believe I have a responsibility to do everything I can to be equipped to teach faithfully and truthfully from God's Word. One way to do this to go to seminary. While I have heard some criticize seminaries by renaming it "semi-taries" (a little play on words I do find humorous), I am yet to encounter any air of dead religion from my professors or the experience over all. Just recently I came across a seminary scholarship that provides $1000 to a seminary student. The scholarship is being provided by Logos Bible Software company. They provide incredible Bible software that ranges from $150 - $1400. My pastor and I have one of their programs and I have benefited greatly from the resources in it. Scholarships for master's programs like the one I'm in can be hard to come by, so I quickly jumped at the chance to apply - the scholarship would fund over 1/2 of my next class!

God has been incredibly faithful throughout this year financially. There have been several unexpected financial burdens, but we are seeing his provision in every way, and this would be no exception. A seminary scholarship at this point would, quite honestly, free us up to be more prepared for the holiday season that is fast approaching. We very much love the chance to be generous around Christmas to our close friends and family, as well as those in need, and an extra $1000 unexpectedly sticking around in our bank account would certainly help do that. If you know someone in seminary, make them aware of the scholarship! No matter who receives it, I am sure it will be a tremendous blessing, one that will not soon be forgotten.

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