Wednesday, August 8, 2007

What would you do differently?

Some friends and I (2 final-yr students & 2 recent grads) were talking last night about what we would do differently if we had seminary to do over again. It was an interesting discussion so I thought I'd ask the question here.

I should have tested out of every single class that I could have. I should have validated every single class that I could have. If you have a Bible degree, you should at least try to do this. I was too intimidated to even try. I thought the tests would so difficult that I could never test out of anything. I should have tried. After getting a Bible degree at Philadelphia Biblical U., there's no way I should have gone through all these Bible Ex. classes. I should have at least validated them so I could take different courses.

I also should have loaded up the classes during my first year. Again, I was intimidated by the thought of beginning Masters-level work so I only took 12 hours my first semeseter. That was a big mistake because I took Bible Study Methods, World Missions 101, Spiritual Life, and Intro to Theology. Probably the easiest courses you can take. I should have taken 20 hours per semester that year!

Some of the other guys wished they had made the time to interact with professors outside of class more.

How about you?


GUNNY said...

Boy that's a great question, and one that I've contemplated many times as it goes into my advice to seminary students, especially at DTS.

I share some of the same sentiments about some courses being less effective for me personally based on my background and knowledge coming in.

Having been an instructor, I know you can't move too much faster than the slowest hiker and I felt many times in my Bible Exposition classes that my incoming knowledge was above the targeted level for the class.

I don't know a better way to say it other than I felt frustrated a great deal of the time since I already had a good knowledge of the English Bible.

I would have either tried to test out or validate those courses if I could have.

I graduated in less than 3 years with my ThM mainly because I loaded up my first year and took winter & summer classes. My only regret with that pace was that I took 203 & 204 (3rd & 4th semesters of Greek) in the summer and it was brutal. In fact, 203 was a 3 week class. Talk about drinking from the fire hose.

I majored in Pastoral Leadership and took my electives in historical theology. If I had it to do over again, I likely would have majored in Greek NT or Historical theology and taken some electives in preaching.

I found that some of the more practical pastoral classes were limited as there's only so much you can learn in the classroom.

Also, I benefited from them more when I was serving as an associate pastor than when I was not. I would have made it a point to buddy up with a pastor as mentor earlier in my tenure.

Also, having it to do over again, I would have been more of a nuisance and scheduled more time with Elliot Greene and Dr. John Hannah. Getting the crumbs that fell from their tables was money, but I should have filled my pockets.

I took 3 Greek classes with Elliot and 4 church history classes with Dr. Hannah plus my thesis, but it wasn't enough.

In general, the strength of any seminary is the faculty. Maximize exposure as you hope some of it will rub off on you!

IUBaller said...

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Go Hoosiers!

GUNNY said...

Gig 'em, Aggies!