Seminary Diaries: (Almost) One Month In

Friends, I [Patricia] am feeling it.

Assignments to be turned in.
Lectures to review.
Papers to be researched.
Papers to be written.
Books to be read.

I am feeling it and I'm loving it.

How am I finding my classes so far? Four weeks in and I'm enjoying them. I'm yet to establish a work rhythm of sorts but yours truly is staying afloat. Here's a glimpse of what's been going on in my classes and some assignments I need to turn in:

Research Methods I. Friends, I'm going to write about movies and will work towards a theology of film. What does Aronofsky have to do with the apostles?

Biblical Theology of Missions. I also need to work on a paper for this class and I have chosen to study the role of hospitality in missions. Have we lost the art of hospitality? What does it look like in Scripture? How can we adapt a biblical theology of hospitality in relation to the missio Dei?

Apologetics. One takeaway from the first day of class: It is better to think about how to think than to rehash ready made answers for the defense of Christianity. I kind of regret not taking a philosophy class in college (I avoided it) but I can see its value now. The goal here is not to prove that Christianity is true but that we at least have good reasons for our beliefs.

Pray for me! :)

Last Tuesday at chapel, Rev. Adrian Rosen spoke a timely message on Philippians 2: 12-13. He focused on Paul's admonition to the church in Philippi to work out their own salvation (v.12), "for it is God who works in us to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose" (v.13). He encouraged the students to not let seminary dry us up spiritually but that we continue to guard our private times with the Lord. This affirms what I mentioned in my last entry: it is all too easy to get lost in all the academic demands of seminary. I am feeling that challenge now.

Spiritual growth doesn't just happen, neither do spiritual dryness and falling away. We all need to make choices and we can't blame our lack of growth and weakness on the circumstances. Rev. Adrian also mentioned that how we respond to pressures in seminary will significantly impact how we respond after seminary.

I need to work on my response to pressure. I'm still learning how to choose praise over despair, diligence over procrastination, and dependence on the Lord over a false sense of self-sufficiency. But while the pressures are real, I just feel so at home in this learning and worshiping community that is APTS. However, at the same time, I can't be too at home and think that my life will look like this after I graduate. What about when we move to the States? What about children? It's not about being anxious over the transitions that are yet to happen. but about carving out time to sit with the Lord whatever the situation.

Assignments, readings, lectures, deadlines. And then there's laundry, dishes, dusting, and sweeping. What to do? While at seminary I'll probably be like Martha, but I'd rather be a full-time Mary.

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