I think I always loved learning. Despite high school's attempts to dismantle that love, I re-discovered it in university and, especially in the years we homeschooled. It was then that I realized that this was who I was made to be: a student. My kids benefitted from homeschooling, but I think I got more out of it than they did. And since beginning seminary, I have seen again and again how this is, just as the saying goes, "how I am wired."
To combine two things, Christ and the study, is the best of both worlds. I had an all day class on Saturday. It was my ethics class, and as we discussed matters such as abortion, assisted death, divorce and remarriage, and homosexuality, I was reminded again and again how theology is made very real as we look at these matters. In the past, as I have thought about practical applications of theology, I have tended not to look beyond matters such as how to be a good wife, friend, and mother. Other issues, these complex issues, really do demand a solid theological base and a sound understanding of the Bible and hermeneutics. As I sat there on Saturday, pondering such things, I felt one of those little blissful moments where all is right with the world. This was where I was meant to be at this time.
In discussion with some fellow students about further education after our Master's, we talked a about the possibility of the MDiv Research degree. This involves concentrated, supervised study on one topic, culminating in a thesis which must be defended orally. I admit to liking that thought. Following the Fall 2017 semester, I will be eligible to apply to move to that degree, provided I have some sort of idea of a thesis to put forth. There are loads of ideas I have for such a thesis. It's one of those daunting and exciting prospects. With an MDiv Research degree, I could potentially pursue doctoral studies later. A friend and I joked that we want to be little old ladies collecting doctorates some day.
I know that many people would say, "Why don't you just study on your own if you love it so much? You don't need seminary." That is true, and for many years, that is how I learned. But seminary gives me something that I, as a life-long student desperately need: community. Seminary provides classmates and professors who share the passion of learning about Christ. They care when you get excited at what you are learning. They understand your book addiction. And there is accountability and much appreciated feedback. At one time, I found that kind of feedback through blogging, but that has changed so much in the past few years. I'm not sure social media is the venue where I want to get feedback.
I am so thankful for opportunities to learn. I suspect that even if I had not been converted to Christ, I would have loved to learn. But I am so thankful I was converted. What better to study than the God of the universe?