Saturday, August 26, 2006

Question of the Day

What is your advice to first-year seminary students?


UCM said...

- don't skip class
- go to chapel, even when you feel like you don't have time
- take time to explore, especially if you are living far from where you were raised
- really get to know the international students

matthew said...

I completely agree with UCM's points and would only add "Don't mistake your time in the Bible for class with the personal, soul-nourishing Bible reading you do for your relationship with God."

David said...

-get to know your professors
-do something non-theology, like playing Intramural sports with the crew, or hitting the coffee bars to chat,or just going to the movies
-let them "steal your Jesus", and keep looking, the one you find at the end is so much cooler than the one you have now.

Andy B. said...

Recieve eucharist weekly.

Willie said...

1. A critical book review is not the same thing as a negative book review.

2. Don't dismiss what you don't agree with - engage it.

3. Remember that educational formation really is spiritual formation too.

4. When you write, play some. Your imagination is as important as your "critical thinking" skills.

5. Don't just go to chapel - participate fully in it. Sing in the choir, play an instrument, be a communion steward or an offering usher. Help fold or pass out the bulletins. Be part of the worship committee. It's great for your prayer and worship life.

Keith McIlwain said...

Spend lots of time in prayer.

Don't forget how to read the Bible devotionally, not only academically.

Don't forget your spouse and kids; make them a priority.

And always root for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Willie said...

Let me submit this toast made at Walter Brueggemann's son's confirmation (made while Walt was at Eden in St. Louis):

Always remember - Love the Lord, hate the Cubs.

Elizabeth said...

I'm with Andy - receiving communion weekly was something I never thought I'd enjoy but something I really miss, especially sharing communion in the community I'm part of.

larry said...

I partially agree with the other comments.

I would say:

- get to know the international students

- skip classes that are boring as much as you can and still do well in them

- if your seminary allows you to take classes on a pass/fail basis and you don't intend to study beyond the MDiv degree, then take as many classes as possible that way.

- if daily chapel and/or weekly communion are helpful disciplines for your spirit, then go for it. Just be prepared to put up with some really atrocious preaching (that was my experience at least)

- Keep your personal spiritual disciplines alive; don't substitute class work for those things.

larry said...

I need to ammend one thing - check with your ordaining body before taking classes pass/fail; I have heard of cases in which the ordaining body doesn't like to see that done.

DannyG said...

As someone who went thru an intense post graduate program in another field I'll add watch your diet and exercise. It is really easy to fall into the donut, reheated coffee, and cold pizza routine. It might get you thru a weekend push, but long term it can take a toll. Also, take the time to exercise, even if it is just walking a couple of miles. The mind can get too cluttered sometimes, and regular exercise can clean out the trash and let you see some daylight again.