Reflections from Seminary Students

HOW TO TELL YOUR FRIENDS THAT YOU ARE IN SEMINARY by Heather Juul

September 30th, 2011 § 0 Comments

http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org

It is easy when in Seminary only to spend time with Seminarians or, potentially even worse, only to spend time with Christians.  Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with “believers,” but there is just something special when a friend looks at you from across a steaming bowl of Udon and says, “So what is the deal with the Trinity?”   Honestly, where else can we beef up our apologetics?  There are significant problems with cross religious interactions, particularly when in Seminary.  I know, I come from what we call a “Non-Christian home.”  I did not grow up in Sunday school, I did not watch Veggie Tales with my younger sister and I have no idea what Adventures in Odyssey is. I have overheard friends say that I am studying to become a priest, despite the fact that I am 1) female, and 2) Presbyterian.  Similarly, when one of my old bosses learned that I was going to Seminary, she asked if I was going to be a “lady pastor.”  My roommate has had study sessions over at our house and people have taken one look at my bookshelf, filled with Luther, Calvin, Augustine, Bell, Pinnock, Wright and replied with a stammer so your roommate is…religious?

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First step for a popular blog: good keywords. “New, trendy worship blogger.”

September 28th, 2011 § 0 Comments

Hey everyone. My name’s Josh, and I’ll be writing regularly here at the Seattle Pacific Seminary blog for a while. I’m an M.Div student, and I’ve been here two years – which, if you’re familiar with the history of the program, means I’m part of the inaugural class for SPS. I’ve been doing this program full-time, so this year is my final year. Which means I’ll either give you really insightful, wise, experienced things to think about, or display a growing and completely unabashed case of senioritis as the year continues. My friend Heather Juul, who is also going to be writing pretty regularly, is probably in the same position as myself, though she’s a little wiser and procrastinates less…

To give you a small sampling of how this degree applies to me without talking too much about myself right off the bat: I’ve been involved in various worship ministries for several years, and I’ve done everything from live audio/visual tech to leading congregational worship from a drum sampler and acoustic guitar to planning weekly worship liturgies from scratch with a creative team of a dozen people. I started this program because I wanted to immerse myself more deeply in the depth and breadth of the Christian traditions, in order that the congregations I serve can do the same.

I’m writing for the blog to share a student’s perspective on the happenings of grad life and to illustrate how my forays into the academic, the theological and the seminary world mix with the other parts of my brain, and come out as either a grey mush or something significant. You can be the judge as we start this thing together. Please join me.

Blogs are a great way to begin a conversation…and to continue conversations. I can share my unbiased, grand opinion in a very personal fashion, and then you can respond in the comments or challenge me in your own blog and link to me. Either way, I hope our conversations makes the seminary blog really popular so that more people will want to check it out.

Because (and I will only say this once, I promise): I want everyone to know about Seattle Pacific Seminary. I’ve had brilliant and life-changing conversations with classmates and professors and friends and family because of this program, and I’ve found a beautiful connection here that seems unique in comparison to what I’ve heard of most other seminary programs. You’ll hear more about this as we go through the year.

I suppose the views represented here do not necessarily reflect the views of SPS as a whole, and all that…(is this a good time in my post to say this?)

And finally, here’s what I’ve got in mind for some regular types of posts, beginning next week:

“Worship Wednesdays” – what else would you expect from someone who spends most of his time thinking about worship and worship services? I’ve picked up some tricks along the years and from different classes I’ve taken that I can share. Hopefully they’ll be useful.

“Theologian Thursdays” – profiles and vignettes of theologians and other writers that my classmates and I have discovered and interacted with inside and outside our classrooms. I’ll try to make the less contemporary ones more relatable, too: as Professor Steele likes to say, “many of my good friends, like Augustine and Aquinas, are dead.” I think that’s how he put it. Maybe. And if Augustine and Aquinas can be Dr. Steele’s friends, then they can be yours too!

I’m sure I can come up with some other alliterative topics, but I’ll leave it with those for now. If you’ve got suggestions or things you’re interested in hearing about, let me know!

Josh

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