My first week at Duke Divinity School is complete. On the surface, I am a train wreck. Inside, a train wreck. Look a little deeper…no, further…I’m doing alright.
This has been a week of trying times and growth – both spiritually and academically. Seminary isn’t quite what I thought it would be, but is everything I hoped it would be. The way classes are taught is much, much different than my undergrad. No PowerPoints, no data, no steps to follow to get the right answer. In fact, there isn’t always a right answer. There isn’t a lecture explaining the technical facts, but rather lectures explaining the origins of the old testament and how the Church came to be. Contrary to my previous belief, seminary is not at all a “Bible study” with a professor providing the commentary.
I’ve learned that reading is going to become my favorite activity. Community is extremely important. Continuous prayer and personal spiritual disciplines are crucial. I have learned that I am not in seminary alone and am not expected to learn alone. Together, my new friends and I, have conquered our first week.
I feel incredibly blessed to be here. I am so thankful for the opportunity to learn under the influence of amazing professors who know far more than I could ever imagine soaking up in my time here. The next three years may be the most difficult I have ever endured, but I do believe what they tell us: I am here for a reason. I am here to learn, to grow, and to share my new knowledge with the world in the name of Jesus.
This was only the first week and there are many more to come. Many more books, many more papers, and many more frustrations dissolved by good times through quality people.
Week two will have its own struggles. It will have its own reading, its own writing assignments, its own reasons to celebrate. So I’m ready. We are ready – all of us, in pursuit to strengthen God’s church.
Let the journey begin!