December, 2011 — I’ve just concluded my first semester as a part-time student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) pursuing a Masters of Divinity!
When I was a college student starting to consider seminary, a mentor and professor at TEDS gave me some powerful advice: Don’t go to seminary unless the Lord gives you a reason. And after five years of campus ministry, I finally have that reason: to go deeper in my knowledge of the Bible and theology in order to more effectively minister to college students. I am excited particularly because I will still be able to serve full-time with InterVarsity while working towards my degree!
My short experience at Trinity, though a challenging new responsibility to juggle, has further confirmed my calling to ministry, and specifically with InterVarsity, in two ways. First, I believe the five student generations that I’ve worked with on campus have helped me bring a context to my education, which allows me to soak up my coursework in a way that I’ve never experienced before.
Let me give a brief example. In my preaching class, “Theology and Methodology of Biblical Preaching,” every lecture, every book — particularly “Prepared to Preach” by my professor Greg Scharf (left) — captured my attention and directly impacted my ministry that particular week.
So in what was meant to be a simple requisite introductory preaching course, I was able to utilize my reading assignments, exams, preaching labs and office hours to plan a 3-part sermon series on Philippians 1 that I delivered during new student outreach and craft a 2-quarter sermon series/Bible study curriculum on the book of Acts for 2012!
Secondly, the Lord has opened lots of doors for me financially to be able to attend Trinity. First of all, through a generous Trinity grant for full-time IV staff members, I get a 50% tuition discount. Secondly, because of my proximity to the Metra and a series of Trinity shuttlebuses, I am able to commute to school relatively inexpensively. So for three semesters of education this year, I only need to raise an additional $8,000! If you would enjoy helping invest in my seminary training, please do not hesitate to contact me or give a gift online!
As I am being trained alongside aspiring local church pastors, missionaries and counselors from around the world, I have been affirmed in the role that campus parachurch ministry and particularly InterVarsity plays in the global Church. In fact, I really can’t go far at Trinity without rubbing shoulders with a professor, student or administrator who’s life has been impacted by InterVarsity. Please pray for this new season in my life and ministry — I am excited for what lies ahead!
- Please pray for me as I continue to balance my training at Trinity with the actual practice of ministry on campus. Next semester I will be taking courses on counseling, educational ministry and apologetics.
- Pray for my own personal growth in managing my time and energy as I make the 3-hour commute via Metra from Chicago to Deerfield 1-2 times per week.