More Thoughts on the PhD thing

If you are just now joining my maddeningly wandering thoughts on this issue, please see here and here.

You’ll recall that my most recent post on this topic left off with me as confused and uncertain as I was at the beginning of the post. I’ve had more time to think about things over the past few weeks. I’ve talked to a number of people. Everyone affirms what they have been affirming for the past several months, I have talents and passions that lie very much in the realm of professorial pursuits. I’ve talked to God about my hesitance to move with all my abilities towards getting a PhD. I also took the time yesterday to talk to one of my professors here at GCTS about his journey towards a PhD. He and his wife took a similar path to what Mandy and I are looking at (both graduated from GCTS with two MAs, both did PhD work at the same time, at the same school). His counsel was simple: he recommended that I not worry about things down the road too much. Plan for them, yes. In his view, if we (Mandy and I) feel that God wants us to become professors, God will take care of the details. He also recommended that I go in with my eyes wide open expecting pain, suffering, hardship, and difficulty. But at the same time trusting in God to provide and help Mandy and I get through those difficulties. For him, the key word was trust.

I’m not always the best with trust. Mandy is a bit better with it than I. It should be an adventure. So, where am I at now? I’m past the point of hoping for writing on the wall. I have all the information, advice, and guidance I need to make a decision. At this point I’m going to begin pursuing the PhD thing. Over the next semester or two I’m going to behave as if, and take all the classes I would if, I were in an MA program and planning on going on for PhD work. All of those classes will slot well into either requirements or electives for my M.Div. It’ll give me a chance to work at a high level (Harvard) and feel things out a little. In reality this is probably me being overly cautious.

So, onward towards a PhD.


2 thoughts on “More Thoughts on the PhD thing

  1. I’m excited to see that you’ve buckled down and chosen a direction. Even if it changes at least you won’t be so bound up with worry.


  2. Great stuff man. The trust thing can certainly be difficult; in fact, it’s the thing I’ve struggled with the most since choosing my own path to the pastorate.

    As Earl mentioned, picking a path can be helpful for a sense of relief, even if God and you decide to change it later on. Nothing is truly ever static and fixed, but now you have a goal.

    I’ll continue to pray for you daily, as you know I do now.

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