Friday, December 28, 2012


As of today, I have officially been accepted to the Center for Graduate Studies at Northwestern College to pursue a MATS (Master of Arts in Theological Studies) with an emphasis in biblical studies! Starting next summer, God willing, I will be taking classes in spiritual formation, biblical hermeneutics, and studying the scriptures in the original Greek and Hebrew! Needless to say, I am unbelievably excited about this opportunity and see it as an answer to a lot of prayer and heretofore unfulfilled desire for depth in my theology. (As opposed to the breadth in my Old Testament survey class that focused on the "30,000 foot view") To explain more of my reasons for applying to this program, here is one of the essays I wrote while applying, minus the paragraph about why I chose Northwestern in particular.

The idea of pursuing a graduate degree in theology came to me very suddenly one day at work, and I knew it was worth following up on because I felt even more excited about it than I had been about getting my current job at Seagate. I had previously only considered graduate school in a similar field to my undergraduate degree (computer science), but as I thought about a master's degree in theology it made even more sense than these options. I simply feel called to pursue it in a way that I have never felt called before.

In addition, I am learning that I have a passion for deeply studying scripture and growing in understanding of the things of God. Attending a secular university, I pursued this interest largely through my blog, where I practiced my writing skills by investigating various topics of theology and scripture. More recently I have been taking a survey course on the Old Testament at my church, which, while satisfying, only highlighted my need to understand and apply God's word more deeply. I can think of no more thorough way to do this than a graduate degree. There is plenty of free Christian training and instruction out there, but I don't just want to be taught the Bible, I want to be able to study it myself and teach it to benefit others.

Less clear than my calling to pursue this degree is what I would do with it. I currently have no specific plans to use it in my career, but I do have some dreams for how I want to use the gifts God has entrusted to me to serve the church. I want to help people who struggle with doubt as I do and have. I want to make more of a difference in my small group and in the Sunday school class I teach. Most of all, I want to learn and demonstrate how to use the Bible to draw together the body of Christ rather than divide it, as the Bible is unfortunately used to do. Wherever God takes my life from here, I know that having the solid foundation provided by these studies will be good and beneficial. Since I have no specific career aspirations using a MATS, the process of studying the Bible and theology more deeply is more important to me than the destination.

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