Okay, I'm finally going to post something that has some substance on this thing. My life has been quite a whirlwind over the last year or so. I thought it would be good to share some of it.
Well over a year ago I started wondering if I was making the best impact for the kingdom being a pastor. I had been having feelings of unrest for a good while. They were very similar to the feelings I had when it was time to move out of youth ministry. I had always dreamed of being a college professor. I enjoy working with college age people more than any others over my 15 years of local church ministry. The only problem about me being a college professor is that I lack a whole LOT of education. I was an attrocious undergrad student. I was more concerned with sleeping in and messing around than actually being serious about my academic career. I started a master's program at IWU in the fall of 2003 and after completing 34 hours of a 36 hour program I have a 4.0 GPA. That told me that when I was serious about my academics I could do well.
After much prayer, soul searching, sleepless nights, and hours of conversation with my wife, mentors, etc. I decided that I was going to head back to school. I had been doing the IWU program while still being a full time pastor. Because of my age and how long it takes to get all the way through a doctorate we decided that I needed to resign as a pastor and pursue academics full time. I applied to Duke Divinity School and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. I was admitted to both of them and then the soul searching began all over again. Duke is a more prestigious school to be sure. I was honored simply to be admitted there. Gordon Conwell is no slouch either and I was impressed with it through Dave Drury and Larry Wilson who attended there. After visiting both schools and being very impressed with both of them Sharie and I were convinced that Gordon Conwell was going to be the place for me.
My last Sunday at my church as July 2, 2006. We planned to leave for South Hamilton, Mass. (in the Boston area) for the fall semester of 2006. Long story short — our house didn't sell until October so we could afford to go until the spring semester of 07. But then the folks at GCTS let me know that if I started in the spring it would mess up my schedule. GCTS is very specific about the order of certain classes that you take and some of those are only offered in the fall. So the fall semester of 2007 it is.
My first goal is to complete a master of divinity degree. Whether I ever become a professor or if God is going to call me back into pastoral ministry I know the Mdiv degree will serve me well. If I still feel strongly that God is leading me toward the professor thing then I'll go on for further schooling. Possibly a ThM and then a PhD.
So where we are now is living in a small cabin that we own in northern Michigan. I am taking classes through GCTS online while we are here. I am taking as many of the stand alone type classes that don't have pre-requisites as I can. Sharie is doing her graphic design work with the company that we own, Maxim Design Group. She will continue to do that while I am in school. I am a student and Mr. Mom. We are enjoying our time at the cabin and having some amazing bonding time with our two year old daughter, Kate. We are on an adventure to be sure. God is good and we're excited about what is happening now and what is to come in the years ahead.