This summer has seen your missionary surrounded by brilliant, gifted men of God. I have learned a lot while taking classes at Concordia Theological Seminary. Some things even came out of my textbooks! The Professors, like Rev. Dr. Don Wiley (standing beside me wearing a tie), made use of every moment to make us think about Missions in ways that challenged us. Their goal was simple, to transform us into thinkers and practitioners, whether we were here or abroad.
The classes that I took were intensives, which meant that the content of 10 weeks was squeezed into 1-2 weeks, with each day filled up with learning. If anything, it was probably more difficult, since we spent every moment either in class, getting prepared for class, or working on assignments that would be due within one or two days. All of this while we were in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic. When we took this picture, we were all holding our breaths, and the masks went back on as soon as the camera clicked!
Of course, it wasn’t all work; each day at 9:30 am we gathered together in the chapel for worship. While we did make some adjustments for the sake of the Pandemic, maintaining physical distance and wearing our masks, we still sang, we still prayed, and we still heard the Gospel preached.
The preachers were Seminary faculty, and the officiants were 4th-year students. Most of them were young and fresh-faced, but occasionally a second-career man led us in the prayers of the day. During the Spring semester, only students and faculty could attend, but during the summer, family and friends were also welcome. The same was true at the cafeteria, where families enjoyed some pretty good meals from some friendly and talented chefs.
So far the classes have gone well, and I have passed all of them. The next round of classes begins September 28. I hope to have completed all of my coursework, along with my dissertation regarding church planting and revitalization among inner-city African American/ADOS populations within 4 years.