Ideal Education

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Siberian, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. Siberian

    Siberian
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    If you could do it all again, knowing what you know now, what would be your educational choices from start to finish (undergraduate on up)?
     
  2. exscentric

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    I would do the same thing as I felt God was leading in every step. If left up to me I would probably still be a lazy bum drinking my way through life :thumbs:

    But to the point, if left up to me I would have had fun doing college as a single in the dorm and later on campus study in seminary. I would have considered accreditation, something I knew nothing about at the time.
     
  3. Rhetorician

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    Pragmatically in Retrospect Considering Family Issues

    "Now hear this! Now hear this!"

    1. I would have stayed in Nashville and pursued a degree from Belmont U. after I had done the SBC Certificate in Pastoral Ministries.

    2. I would have pursued the MDiv from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

    3. I would have tried to pursue a PhD from Vanderbilt or The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ethics proper--not Bio-Medical Ethics.

    I could have done all of that and never have left Nashville which put me and my family through so much over the years. But on the other hand I would not have known or learned how to trust God for the outcome. This seems to be the major thing I received from my wanderings in the maze of the Academe?!

    "That is all!" :smilewinkgrin:
     
    #3 Rhetorician, Nov 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2010
  4. Tom Bryant

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    I would have never been kicked out of Philadelphia College of Bible (now Philadelphia Biblical university). I would have stayed in school and not had the detour of 9 years.

    I would have made the same choices for college and seminary afterwards (Tennessee Temple and Temple Seminary), but I would have wished that they had talked - or maybe they did and I wasn't listening - more about the nuts and bolts of church ministry such as leading and working with deacons, budget issues, etc. I received lots of practical work about ministry in the bus ministry and SS, but little about leading those ministries except what I picked up on by watching.
     
  5. glfredrick

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    I probably had the dream education. My only changes would come very early on, at the high school level, where, had I applied myself even a little bit, I could have been tops in my class. As it was, I gained a free ride to University of Wisconsin, Madison, but never acted on that. That may be a God-thing, as that is arguably the most liberal university in the USA.

    My secular education prepared me well to deal with life, and I have been an almost continual student for over 30 years.

    My theological education is the dreamy part. I graduated in the first class at Boyce College (undergrad of Southern Seminary) when they were accredited as a full 4-year college with a BS, dual major, church planting and pastoral ministries. I was also class president during the turnover year and was able to spend a whole year with the new Dean visioning the direction for the new school, much of which has now come to pass. During that time, I also was blessed to sit in the first Nehemiah Project training for church planters under Ed Stetzer and worked to transcribe Ed's first book, "Planting New Churches in a Postmodern Age," from the class presentations in that year of classes. I went on to start the work now called "Rolling Hills Church" in Platteville, WI while an undergrad student.

    I moved over to SBTS after graduation and enrolled in the Advanced M.Div. program, where I sat under all of Southern's best... Ware, Schreiner, Seifrid, Mohler, Akin (now at SEBTS), Brand, Moore, and a host of others. I pulled up short of graduating with the A.M.Div. because of money issues (at age 50 and after 12 years of school, I needed to get a paying job!) with a masters in missiology with a North American emphasis -- first degree awarded like that. I also participated in Thom Rainer's work, "The Unchurched Next Door" as one of the researchers, and worked with other profs as a research assistant from time-to-time.

    During my undergrad and graduate degrees, I also started and still operate a consulting business for doctoral dissertations. I edit and format dissertations for multiple doctoral students and have had the privilege to work with a lot of the SBC leaders who have sought out Southern Seminary as their school of choice. How cool is it to know that Tom Elliff, past president of the SBC and IMB spiritual leader emeritus, is one's "spiritual daddy" in the ministry!

    I probably need to jump back in and secure my doctorate. I've certainly done the work required, but lately time seems to be a hindrance. Who knows... God is good and He has orchestrated my advance in ministry from day 1. That he took a farm boy from Wisconsin and placed him in the path of so many great men, greatly used by Him is a blessing that I'll never be able to re-pay.
     
  6. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Get a masters @ Princeton & then work for Goldman. Live in Greenwich Ct & have a guy drive me & my Rolls Royce to Wall Street......Had I done that, I'd be getting a big fat bonus from the American tax payer in the next few weeks...LOL
     
  7. TomVols

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    On one hand, I would've soldiered on through a spring where I physically was unable to attend college. I would've went anyway - somehow, someway. I would've graduated a bit early. I would've went on to Southern Seminary, first via extension, staying at the church I was currently serving then. Then eventually moved up to finish my M.Div and then either the ThM (with a D.Min later) or Ph.D.

    If money were no object, I would've maybe done something different undergrad. I would've gotten a joint MBA or JD with my M.Div (Beeson offers this) and then done a D.Min or PhD.
     
  8. StefanM

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    I wouldn't change the institution I attended for my BA, but I would have chosen a different major. I would have majored in education, so I could be teaching now instead of trying to pursue alternative licensure two degrees later.

    Then I would have pursued an MEd or MSE at the local state university, followed by an EdS/EdD or PhD combination in education.
     
  9. Speedpass

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    1982-86: Attended what was, at the time, a moderately sized state university between San Antonio and Austin. My original wish was to attend the much larger flagship campus in Austin, or the other large university in College Station which has a Corps of Cadets. I graduated with a BSEd--Mathematics major, Spanish minor, and lifetime teacher certification in my home state. Interesting because during my first year of college my minor was Computer Science, a more appropriate choice for my major. I wish I could have applied myself better during the 2nd half of freshman year and all of sophomore year. If I had to do the undergrad thing over again, I would have started out taking several courses in subjects that interested me in high school and I had occasional "want-tos" to take these classes in college. This list includes math, chemistry, physics, astronomy, geology, and even computer science. Even though I might have chosen a major before the first day of my freshman year, I would have made a definite choice at or around the halfway mark. I may have even taken 5 or more years to accumulate enough hours in the field I would have chosen as a major. Additionally, I would have postponed the teacher certification until after receiving my bachelors; maybe I would have pursued a master's with "alternative route" certification or just taken the courses required to get a teacher's certificate. This would have depended on the job outlook for whatever major I chose when I would have graduated.

    Early-mid 90s: This was when I made serious bids to attend seminary. More than likely I would have attended the SBC-supported seminary in my home state. Since I spent one summer in this timeframe working an SBC-sponsored conference center in a southern state, I may have attended one of the other "big 6" seminaries. What held me back was fears I had that maybe I should get my act together in other areas, find a good paying job where I'm supporting myself, and have a clear-cut ministry objective prior to applying to seminary. In reality I attended a 4-year campus in my hometown seeking a 2nd bachelors, first in computer science then in civil engineering, after my first attempt at a teaching career fizzled after 2 years. After under-achieving with both majors, I took a bunch of computer programming/operations classes at a large metropolitan community college in hopes of raising my own support and becoming involved in SBC collegiate ministry. This was especially true, after a BSU director told me that at almost 30 I was too "old" and didn't have the right personality for full-time collegiate ministry in my home state. Given that I don't feel the loyalty to the SBC like I did back then, I don't know where God would have led me once I finished seminary.

    2000-present: After inheriting the financial provision to pursue the education I didn't pursue when I was in my 20s, I spent one year taking upper-level undergraduate math classes to better prepare me for grad school. I was dead set on becoming a college math teacher, and when I received a teaching assistantship to a large university in the midsouth with athletic ties to the SEC, I thought I had it made. Unfortuneatley, I could not keep up my GPA and flunked out. I moved to a neighboring state in the same region and began a master's program in education at an evangelical Christian university part time while working (close to) full time as an inventory auditor. This would lead to my re-entry into the teaching profession (2 years in a midsouth state west of the Mississippi River, and 4 years in a sister state east of the aforementioned river). I made all kinds of arrangements to finish this degree, which took 4 years due to off-campus weekend studies, getting married, and more commuting. If I had to do this over again, I would not have dilly-dallied like I did to decide if math or education was my end-game. When I began this quest, I was more interested in starting a private tutoring business rather than re-entering secondary teaching. I also struggled with wanting to teach college-level math while virtually ignoring opportunities such as statistics or actuarial science(either would have been an ideal match with my math background). One thing I would have done differently is tried for a master's program in math that was less rigorous than where I ended up and specifically prepared me for post-secondary teaching. I may also have tried to incorporate some education electives into this degree plan if I had an opportunity to start a tutoring business. Another strategy would have been to get my 1st master's in math and follow that with a 2nd master's in education (or the other way around). Another thing I overlooked then but think often of now was a 2nd bachelor's in a math-heavy field (statistics, industrial engineering, etc).

    Present day: I have spent almost 3 years taking online courses in education, library science, counseling, mathematics, and history in pursuit of a "Continuing Education" major. While my grades in most classes have been around the 3.5 level, I am disappointed that the math ones I have completed have not opened additional doors into post-secondary teaching--even if I have to take an adjunct position to start with while working full-time somewhere else. This is "to be continued", as I think about taking online seminary courses focusing on either "Christian Studies" or "Apologetics."
     
  10. Martin

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    Praise the Lord, the choices I made turned out well. It was a long road with many uncertainties but the Lord has made a way. If I was to go back and change anything I don't know that things would have worked out as they have. So, while I would have said differently two years ago, at this time I can say I would change nothing. I would like to earn a PhD at some point, but one way or the other I will be satisfied. God is trustworthy, faithful, and knows how to work things out (even when we mess things up). I praise the Lord for His faithfulness!
     
  11. preachinjesus

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    It's a great question. I sorta knew what I was getting into so I had some direction about education.

    I guess for what I do my educational pathway has been the ideal. Maybe a change or two but I am fairly satisfied with my degrees and how things have turned out.

    If I had to change:

    1. A more stringent undergrad program, still do the double major, but something at an Ivy League or higher end Christian institution.

    2. ThM at DTS or do an MDiv at SBTS or TEDS and then get into a MA/PhD track at PTS or HDS.

    I dunno though, I mean I really enjoy doing what I get to do and think that too many people would be both put off and intimidated by degrees from non-evangelical schools. So for what I am doing, what I love to do, this is the ideal education.

    Now if I did something completely different...oh boy, that's fun. I'd do a quick associates at an evangelical school then transfer to a double major in religion and economics at an Ivy League school. Head across the pond to English institutions and get a MPhil and DPhil in economics. Then while working in that field start doing bi-voc work in churches that have hope but need leadership. Do 30 to 35 years of professional work in economics then "retire" to do full time work in churches. It'd be fun like that.
     

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