Coming on the heels of the last post, it probably sounds a bit crazy to say that I’m applying for admission to Seminary, and intend to pursue ordination as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church. It is certainly that, at the very least.
Last week, Amy, Grady, and I packed up and drove from Frisco, Tx to Princeton, New Jersey for their version of a “preview weekend.” We stopped on the way (in Tennessee) to visit friends Amy, Jeff, and their son, Kiran, who is close to Grady’s age. They hit it off, and Grady has been talking about Kiran ever since (he wants to “send Kiran an email”). After crossing through what seemed like half a dozen eastern states, we arrived in New Jersey Wednesday night, and Thursday my sister Emily drove up (she lives in NJ these days) to hang out with us and play with Grady while we did the “meetings” thing. Tomorrow afternoon, we’ll pack up and begin the drive home, stopping in Tulsa, OK to visit Grady Walker before turning south again to Texas and home.
I have to say that I’ve enjoyed this week, and especially my time at Princeton Seminary. My friend Annie described Princeton as “cute,” and while I’m still not sure what that means, I found the quiet, studious atmosphere, colorful falling leaves, and the nostalgic “red-brick & white spires” architecture to be deeply beautiful. The people (especially students & faculty) were welcoming, and I get the sense that–perhaps more than any other graduate program I might pursue–here is a warm community, one with much to offer intellectually, and (surprisingly) for a family as well. When we took Grady to play at the playground that serves as the “hub” of the graduate family housing, there were toys and bicycles and sweaters lying around all over the place, unwatched, unworried over. To me, that speaks of a level of trust and sharing that was quickly affirmed by most of the “family” students we spoke with.
Of course, I have to tell on my Pastor, Philip, who–of all the people in the world–happened to call me on my cell phone *right* in the middle of my admissions interview. Fortunately, I had the ringer set on vibrate, but still…coincidence???
I’m actually applying to three MDiv programs: Princeton Seminary in New Jersey, Columbia Seminary in Georgia, and Austin Seminary in Texas. All are Presbyterian. Princeton has the added bonus of a Dual Degree program that adds an M.A. in Education to the MDiv, making it my first choice. Even if that weren’t the case, from what I’ve seen this week, it certainly seems like a good “fit.” Hopefully, we’ll be visiting the other two programs in the spring, and then looking to enroll in the fall of 2008.
To continue in the vein of the previous post, but perhaps give more balance (since the last one was a pretty unpolished and soap-boxish rant), I’m going to post some exerpts from my application essays in the next few days. They have, over the past few months, had the unexpected side-effect of helping me organize a lot of my thoughts on church, ministry, spirituality, and culture.