1 Semester Down. How many more to go????
It is hard to believe but my first semester at Wesley Theological Seminary is over. Looking back to my undergraduate studies I was always looking forward to the end of the semester but now the end of this first semester is a little bitter-sweet. Don't get me wrong, I welcome the opportunity to spend more time with my family, catch up on somethings around the house, or even relax, but this last semester has been very formative in my relationship with God and my understanding of the call God has placed on my life.
The first class I took this semester was OT101-A, Introduction to Hebrew Bible I, taught by Dr. Valerie Bridgeman. When I enrolled in this class and realized it was going to be my first seminary class I was dreading it. Like many Christians, I had preferred to stick to the New Testament when reading the Bible. Dr. Valerie was the exact opposite of what I had originally expected and that was a welcomed surprise. I had envisioned a staunchy lecture but instead the course offered lecture with built-in discussion. Dr. V allowed us as a class to explore the texts of the Hebrew Bible and zero in on areas where we as a class struggled to the meaning or wanted to dive deeper.
Next on the books this semesters was Spiritual Formation for the Practice of Ministry. This course was a mix of lecture, group discussion, and service learning. I will save my reviews on the course for the end of next semester because the course contains two parts; 2 credit hours in the fall and 1 credit hour in the spring (with an optional 1 hour service credit). I will however say that so far the class has had some very formative parts along with some things that just have not been my cup of tea. But I guess that is what this process is all about, finding new spiritual practices that work for you and weeding out the ones that do not.
The last class I had this semester was the History of Christianity 1 (0 - 1500 A.D.): 1500 years of Christianity in one semester. Dr. C. Harrell was our instructor and this man has forgotten more about the history of Christianity than most of us will ever know. 1 mid-term exam, 2 papers, and a timeline (including 10 people, 10 events, and 10 movements) on the surface did not seem like a lot of work. I was mistaken. I had forgotten how much work school actually was (maybe that was because I did not take my undergraduate time seriously, and I am beginning to realize I wasted a lot of time). A few all nighters (2 hours of sleep and then heading off to work), 1 or 2 panic attacks, and some help from my pastor and classmates got me through the course. Since the next section of the course is 1500 - present day, I hope that I can keep up. 600 years in comparison to 1500 years won't be that bad (I hope)
I made some great friends this semester, got my seminary career off on the right foot, but most importantly I have begun to discern my calling in a deeper way that I could not have imagined doing six months ago. I was talking with Allison last night and realized if you had told me a year ago I would be in seminary I would have told you I thought you were crazy. I cannot wait to see what next semester has in store for me.
Peace & Blessings.