Why I like graduate school

It’s no secret that I am currently working on an advanced Master’s degree (I don’t think it is anyway). That may seem strange to those who remember me from 12 years ago when I was WAY ready to leave the Bible college (which I did, bringing home a B.A. in Pastoral Studies). Part of that was probably the insane schedule I took upon myself (usually 20-23 hours per semester, plus summer school, college basketball, and work).

Of course, graduate work is more specialized than undergraduate, so I get to spend more time studying what I want, rather than what I have to for my degree. Again, for those who know me a little better, you wouldn’t be surprised to see at least a dozen classes in basic and advanced Greek and Hebrew studies and another dozen or more in Old and New Testament studies and theology.

See, according to Ephesians 4:11-13, my God-given role at this point in life is to provide God’s people with the skills and tools necessary to do ministry work so that the Church global will be continually grown and built to God’s glory, each person reflecting Christ himself. This includes growing myself first, then my wife and kids, then those who are a part of Oak Tree Community Church, and then everyone else.

So, today I find myself reading a book that you maybe never will (although I have it if you want to) – J. Harold Greenlee’s, Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism, a primer on the details of why and how we can be sure our English Bibles accurately reflect the message God wants us to have.

Am I going to teach it on Sunday morning, write a book about it, or expound on it through my blog? Nope! But what I learn through these books and classes will affect what I teach and how I teach it. And that definitely impacts you.

If you pray for me (and you should), here’s something to add to your list. I probably have at least 6-7 years of work left before earning my Master of Theology (17 credit hours down, 104 to go). This intensive study is important to both you and me. If I am going to be able to continue to equip and sharpen you, I have to keep better equipped and sharpened, too.

BTW – If anyone’s ever up for a good, old discussion or question/answer forum, let me know. That’s a great way for us both to stay sharp!

Also, if you are interested in studying a Bible book or topic a little more closely, I would love to do that with you. It can be in person or online. At the very least, if you are local to our area, my personal library is available to you for reference. Just ask!

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