On May 12, 2018, I graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with a Masters of Theology degree. It was a long time coming. I never graduated from college the first time, leaving to continue a career in music. But decades later, my amazing wife encouraged me to pursue this line of education. I believe her exact words were “You study more than anyone I know, and you’re NOT IN SCHOOL!” I believe she recognized that God had gifted me in learning and I was passionate about the Bible, so if I had an opportunity to combine those, it would probably serve me well. And she was right.
One of the things I remember about starting school at DTS was that one of our advisors came into class and said, “When people find out you’re going to seminary, the first thing they are going to ask you is ‘What are you going to do when you’re done?’” And she was right. I got asked that all the time, often followed by “Are you going to pastor a church?” So, I was very grateful for what she said next that day, which has obviously stuck with me ever since. She said, “You don’t have to have the answer to that question.” What freedom! I knew that God had brought me there, but I couldn’t be sure why. I didn’t know what was next. I was just trying to get through Greek.
So I thought I’d write a few blogs about my experience in seminary. And the natural place to start was with “Why did I go?” So here are two main reasons.
- I love the Bible.And I had an amazing opportunity to learn more. DTS is well-known for its excellence in biblical languages. I had the chance to learn Greek and Hebrew and read the scriptures in the original languages. What an amazing privilege! I also got to take classes in Bible Exposition where I learned a lot about the larger picture of the Bible. I mean, I’ve read the Bible as lots of little pieces, but in class, those pieces were part of a whole. I already understood the main overarching story of the Bible, but I learned a ton about the larger stories within that story. I still remember the day that Dr. Klingler came into our class and outlined the Pentateuch (Genesis–Deuteronomy), explaining it as God’s promise and fulfillment in establishing Israel in pictures on a white board in about three minutes. So helpful.
- I care about training the next generation of ministers.And honestly, I felt unprepared. As we put together a worship leader development program in Austin, I felt like I had a lot of experience to share and a few scriptural highlights. But that’s not what I wanted to give to the next gen of young men and women who follow this path. I wanted to really pass on a deep understanding of scripture that all of the sudden, I wasn’t sure I had. Specifically, I wanted to be able to help worship leaders form a biblical concept of worship from the whole Bible, not just a couple of favorite verses.
That’s why I went. That’s all I knew. I loved God and wanted to understand his word in a better and deeper way so that it would shape my life and so I could share it with others.
The new blog plan is to post new blogs on Wednesday. So check back next Wednesday for part two of the graduation reflection blogs. And comment below. You don’t have to write about what I wrote. In fact, why don’t you share with us why you’re doing what God has you doing right now? You don’t have to know what’s next. God can take care of that. But what is the path that has brought you to today?