At the beginning of this week, I officially became a doctoral student.
Earlier this year, I enrolled in Fuller Theological Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program. I applied for the Missional Leadership cohort. The program is a professional doctorate, not a PhD. I will work on this degree while continuing to work at First Presbyterian Church.
The majority of the work will be reading and writing from home. In addition, the other students and I will gather together for a week each January of classes with our professors. It will be an extensive amount of work – reading about a book every ten days, a series of reflection papers on reading and class discussion, conducting various church surveys, a few larger papers, and one final paper at the end of the year. After four years of similar work, I will then be working exclusively on my dissertation.
This will be a marathon experience, not a sprint.
If you’ve been following my podcast or much of my work on this site, you’ll know that I don’t always have the best study habits. This new chapter in my life will force me to practice many of the principles I’ve been talking about. If I don’t use my time wisely and work at a consistent, regular pace, I won’t succeed.
As I go through this program, I will be engaging a constant stream of new ideas and concepts. I have a feeling that what I learn will influence some of what I write on this blog. So I’m going to add a new “DMin” category for my posts along with a tab in the top menu of the blog. In the DMin tab, you’ll be able to see what books I’m reading this year, see some links to papers I’ve written, and learn about the program, school, and professors.
As some of this new content rolls out in the coming weeks and months, I’d love to hear your feedback. Since my degree is intended to help my pastoral skills, I will need to be able to discuss what I’m learning in a relevant way. Our discussions here will help me keep my thoughts and language clear and concise.
I would also love your prayers during this time in my life. A full time position of church ministry, an adorable nine-month-old daughter and sweet wife, a doctorate program, and a blog are all serious commitments. I want to do the best work possible in each of these areas of my life. There will be a constant temptation for me to eat terribly, neglect working out, and play too many video games. So please feel free to pray for me and ask me how I’m doing every once in a while.
This is a very exciting time for me, even though it’s pretty terrifying! Thanks for your support. I intend to keep the content coming regularly here. Make sure to check back in regularly, or subscribe to make sure you don’t miss out.
What new challenges might God be calling you to take lately?