Monday, February 11, 2013

A Journey Towards Fuller Theological Seminary, and the Fear Thereof

It is a very odd sequences of feelings. It is neither chronological in hindsight or even remotely compelling as a drinking story. But, it means that the scattered memories I do have are quite intimately important.

I started off at Biola in roughly 2007, and didn't care much for my theology classes. Mostly, I believe it had something to do with with being bored and finding theology to be a stuffy business. I had scattered conversations throughout campus with maybe two people but for the most part I delegated those issues and thoughts to the back burner to make room for movies, chasing skirts and being generally an amusing little rebel.

However, it all changed when I met a girl. But that's another story, one you've probably heard before.

We were separated for almost three years, save for scattered holiday breaks when she wasn't at Trinity earning her M.Div. We talked about getting married, starting a life together but for the past maybe eight months, that back burning little section of my mind was itching. So I mentioned I wanted to go to seminary to find out what was causing the mental rash.

Allison was against it initially, but warmed to the idea when I continually expressed interest and even got into theological arguments with her (a first, but not really). So, we talked and talked and all of that, and before long, I felt the call from God to do something with my life.

So, I enrolled to become an astronaut.

But that didn't work out so I decided to get closer to God via seminary.

And so I applied to Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena for several reasons. One, I started listening to their lectures and classes on iTunes and was both impressed by the scholarship and the pastoral sensitivity. Two, I was astonished that they actually engaged with ideas I wasn't comfortable with, and finally third, I love their history. A desire to be a third voice in the world of sectarian fundamentalism and liberalism. As an addendum, I also love their faculty. John Goldingay in the OT Department; Tommy Givens, David Downs, and David Scholer (RIP) in the NT department, and Veli-Matti Karkkainen and Oliver Crisp in Sytematic Theology.

For Charlie Brown's sake, its like the old school NY Mets lineup.

Sensing a call from God, I applied and got this letter in response:
Imagine my surprise that a film major from Biola University getting into one of the top evangelical seminaries in North America. I'm not quite confident in what I want to do with my life.

At this current moment, I want to teach theology. Preferably in the Southern California area, so my course of action includes the following:

MAT in Theology and Biblical Studies at Fuller, with special emphasis on Systematic Theology, Greek and New Testament Exegesis.

ThM in New Testament as a means to expanding my NT desires.

PhD in Systematic Theology as a means to tying both biblical scholarship and theology together. I would not be opposed to flipping the emphases of the ThM and the PhD around.

So, a lot of work and hopefully, this experiment will be something more than a grand leap into the dark.

--Nick

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