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Posts Tagged ‘seminary’

Blog Author Sighted!

Sorry for the disappearance, folks! The thesis is due in less than two weeks and has kind of consumed my life. But in the realm of good news, I can announce that this fall I’ll be attending Wesley Theological Seminary in DC! I’m very excited for the opportunity to learn and grow in such a diverse, deep-thinking community. Christian Girl at Grad School, here I come.

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It’s a common joke that Methodism started out as a campus ministry. Those rascally Wesley brothers began the movement by accident when they formed a society (John refused to call it a club) as students at Oxford University. It comes as no surprise then that United Methodists would fund more colleges and higher education scholarships a few centuries later than any other denomination. Our heritage has taught us that undergrad offers a superior context for not just intellectual growth, but for spiritual exploration.

As a volunteer tour guide for my college, I often struggle to explain its United Methodist affiliation. Some prospective students see a chapel next to the auditorium and envision mandatory Communion attendance, altar call conversions, or stifling dress codes. Other students, thinking that an affiliation equates to ownership, are disappointed when they arrive for freshman year, only to discover the myriad of complex spiritualities on campus. Personally, I love this middle ground. The availability of an active religious life without its requirement has been invaluable to my faith development.

But it does make me wonder what defines a “good” campus ministry versus a weaker one. These days, we United Methodist love our measurable standards. How does a board of trustees deign a campus ministry a success or a failure? Obviously if the issue were raised at General Conference, the answers would vary widely — as they do on almost all issues. My only concern with the campus ministries I’ve seen is an emphasis on doubt. (more…)

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Wow! It sure has been a long good while. In fact, it’s hard to believe that WordPress didn’t scrap this puppy to make room on the server. But now as my college years are winding to a close and the next chapter begins, I thought it would be appropriate to check in and wax nostalgic for a few posts.

I’m a second-semester senior at my small, southern liberal arts college. I assure you that when I posted here last, even the concept of senior year was a metaphysical impossibility. For those who may pass by this page looking for the wistful, bombastic freshman of a bygone era, I’m afraid that instead you’ll find a complicated, slighty-less-naive, slightly-less-highstrung young woman who vacillates between eagerness and paralyzing anxiety about commencement day (May 17). Since I saw you last, I’ve been in love and fallen out of it, lived in Florida and Massachusetts, sometimes opened my eyes and sometimes closed my heart, and made the kind of friends that one lays down her life for.

As some of the readers realized much before I had an inkling, I am bound for seminary in the fall. The contenders at present are Wesley, Candler, and Perkins, all of which are United Methodist. Additionally, I am currently a declared candidate (not quite yet certified) in my home conference. The plan right now is ordained Elder, but if I’ve learned anything in the past four years, it’s not to plan too far ahead; God reveals in His own time what might have once seemed impossible.

No promises about what the next handful of posts might address. Seminary selection? The candidacy process? How much I really, really, really want to stay an undergraduate? Maybe a bit of it all. Regardless, I figure every story deserves a closing chapter.

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