Continued from here.
Going to school full-time at a university with a different perspective than my own has been an interesting experience. At my interview for my current job, one of the interviewers was a pastor who attended a seminary for a different denomination than where he now serves. He told me in my interview that it was a blessing to attend a school with a different perspective than his own because it helped him solidify his own beliefs. That turned out to be the case for me as well.
I selected this school for two reasons: (1) It has a reputation for having a strong online program, and I could only attend seminary online in this season of life; and (2) I sensed the Holy Spirit guiding me there. If I knew then what I know now, I doubt I would have selected this school because I definitely do not “fit the mold” of the belief system of this school. However, if I could go back in time and change this experience, I wouldn’t because I have learned so much. While I certainly do not see eye-to-eye on every aspect of the Christian faith as this denomination, I have developed a strong appreciation for the sincerity of their beliefs as well as a deeper understanding of why they believe as they do.
The classes that were specific to my focus on discipleship were excellent, and I learned much that I plan to apply both in my local church and in my professional ministry. I also learned many tools about digging deeper into the context and history of when specific passages of scripture were written to help illuminate the meaning behind the text. I knew next to nothing about the history of the Christian faith after biblical times when I enrolled in divinity school. I now have a much deeper knowledge and appreciation for the factors that shaped the Christian faith into what it is today. I also have a deeper understanding of the differences between the various denominations, which has led me to a deeper appreciation of the elements they share. I also learned much that the school did not intend to teach me. I am grateful for both.
To be continued…
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace holding a large pile of books. Courtesy Bitmoji.]