Greetings faithful readers!
Bittersweet and exciting news: my time at Summit Ministries has come to a close and I’m moving to Denver in pursuit of a Master of Arts in Old Testament!
It has been an incredible four years since I moved to the Springs. We launched the third edition of Understanding the Times (and the prequal and sequal volumes), we had over 5,000 highschool and college students come visit us for the two week Summer Program, I spent hundreds of hours learning about budgeting, product development, and marketing, we revamped the entire hotel A/V system and built an amazing video production pipeline (now headed by the passionate Andrew Winchell), we moved over to my favorite project management platform, Teamwork (seriously, you should check it out. It’s amazing.), and we began moving Summit’s events and conference into the industry leading event management platform, Cvent. And those just are projects I’ve been involved with.
It’s been a lot for a mere four years. :-)
Most importunity, though, I met some genuinely kind, funny, dedicated, people. Whether it was the students, the seasonal staff who cared so well for them, the faculty and speakers who trained them, or the full-time Summit crew who faithfully sit on the hill and make it all possible year after year. I got to meet them all. And I love them all.
Then something momentous finally happened: I graduated college!
I know, I know, I didn’t think it was going to happen, either.
In my quest to cram a four year degree into about twelve, I fell short by four years. No matter, I finally have a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies.
But even with everything going on, I’ve been looking at graduate schools for over three years now. Because my BA is in Biblical Studies, I knew I wanted an Academic MA (rather than an M.Div), I knew I wanted OT (more on that below), and I finally decided I wanted an evangelical-leaning school. Those criteria narrowed down the field quiet nicely.
After much prayer, discussion, and visits, I’m moving up to Denver to attend Denver Seminary. Classes start this month!
Usually when I tell people this, the same sorts of questions are asked. So I’ll try to tackle those succinctly:
Why an MA in Old Testament?
I was sitting in my Text and Canon class at Multnomah when Ray Lubeck said, “New Testament guys look at the Old Testament and have no idea what’s going on; Old Testament guys look at the New Testament and know exactly what’s going on.”
Granted, there’s some intramural posturing in that sentiment, but his observation has proved true in my experience. I’ve spent quiet a bit of time in the OT over the past couple of years. It’s rich, confusing, and genuinely beautiful. And when I turn back to the NT, everything about it feels easier and clearer. It’s sort of like picking up a violin after playing a viola. And when I’m in the OT, a vast forest in front of me and have no idea how to explore it. So I’m very much looking forward to some formal training.
But why quit Summit and move?
You all know me; I’ve never just gone to school. I’ve never just done one thing, actually. Because of that, my formal academics has been spare-time at best. In many, many conversations over the past two years, I’ve decided I need to stop flirting with school and go all-in on academic studies –without trying to negotiate joint custody of my time between full-time work and full-time school. That, of course, means a lot of student debt and a lot of disciplines I’ve historically not had. But that just means it will be an adventure. :-)
So, what are you going to do when you’re done?
My career goal hasn’t changed at all. I still want to teach. I’ve been serving as one of Summit’s Colorado speakers the past three years and I’ve loved the people and students. Plus, figuring out how to cram a lot of content into a small period of time has been a fantastically challenging experience. The summer experience has been great, but I do miss being in a classroom with a proper syllabus and more time to really explore things. And I miss the long-term relationships that develop in a school year. So, once I’m better credentialed, I plan to stay in academia, hopefully helping students as best as I can.
How can I pray for you?
Firstly, thanks to all of you who have been so faithful to pray for me. Your persistence is a blessing to me. As far as prayer is concerned:
- For finances: Quitting a full-time, full-benefits position to go live on student loans will either be the worse decision of my life or the best. However, my loans are only covering tuition and housing. So I’ll need a low-key, part time job to cover the other living expenses.
- For academics: Candidly I’m kind of nervous. My academic experience has not been the most…successful. :-p So lots of new habits and disciplines will need to be developed in the months to come. Plus, after doing so much development and production work, I’ll have to settle in to a slower, more abstract way of thinking and working. That’ll be a big shift.
- For my spiritual life and community as I move to a new city: Going to a new city and finding a new group of brothers and sisters is always a challenge. Being a full-time Bible student doesn’t make you a better at it, either. If anything, it can make it harder. My one big regret from the past four years is that I didn’t connect better with my local church. One of my first priorities is find a spiritual family and plug in well. If any of you know solid churches in the Denver area, please let me know.
That’s a really brief run-down of what’s up. I’m really excited about this new chapter. The support and encouragement I’ve received over the past few months has been extraordinary. Thank you all so much for your kindness and love towards me. I love you all!