The BeGaDKePhaT are the six Hebrew letters that are considered ‘weak’ consonants and that most often take a dagesh. I’m sure you all wanted to know that. But really? You try to find a decent blog name that isn’t taken.
Anyway, I figured I’d need a place where people who wanted to keep up with what was going on in my life could, and a place where I could record for posterity the wild and wonderful happenings at seminary.
Currently I’m taking 4 graduate classes (12 hours) at Asbury Seminary: Matthew; Hebrew; Method & Praxis in Theology; and Kingdom, Church & World (KCW). So far, the ‘ridiculous amount of homework’ award goes to Method & Praxis, who required a two page paper to be turned in on the first day of class. Welcome to grad school. Hope you brought your completed homework. I’ve spent most of my weekend reading for that class, and squeezing bits of Hebrew homework in around it. Fortunately, I did read ahead this summer, so my reading for Matthew and KCW was completed a while ago. Otherwise, I’d be getting very little sleep right now.
OK – to catch you up to speed, I had new student orientation on August 28th and 29th. They kept us insanely busy, which I later realized was probably so none of us would panic at the thought of classes, which were approaching the next week. They split us all up into small groups with two leaders (students who had been at Asbury for at least a year) so we could get to know each other and at least have some familiar faces on campus later on – I enjoyed getting to know the people I was with, though we kept losing people. One person was sick, another was an online student primarily, so by the end we were down to three students, including myself, and one of the student’s wife and kids, plus the two leaders. I think we were the smallest group by the end, but we had fun.
We had the weekend off, and then classes started on Tuesday. My Tuesday/Thursday classes are Matthew & Hebrew – both of which I enjoy very much. Wednesday (really long) classes are Method & Praxis and KCW.
Matthew: primarily a study of the book of Matthew, obviously, but also an introductory class in studying the bible methodically. Methodical Bible Reading by Robert Traina was an excruciatingly boring, yet informative, book that we had to read – a paper on it is due the 16th. So far, I don’t really know anyone in that class, although this one guy keeps introducing himself to me because he can’t remember my name. Dr. David Bauer, the Dean of my school (Biblical Interpretation and Proclamation) within the seminary, teaches the class, and is an excellent teacher. He is definitely the epitome of a stereotypical professor, though, with his odd, old suits, his flyaway hair (which I think he attempts to slick down), and his strange professorial manner.
Hebrew: a study of the language, most of which, at this point, involves memorizing the alphabet. It’s taught by a Teaching Associate, who also takes classes, which gives me hope that one day either the Hebrew or Greek TA will graduate and I’ll have a shot at getting a teaching position. Fingers crossed. In the first class, I discovered that someone I went to college with (someone I tutored in New Testament, in fact) was at the seminary and was in both Hebrew and Method & Praxis with me, so I’m meeting people through him and am generally more social in those classes than I am in Matthew.
Method & Praxis: relates method to practice in theology. Right now we’re studying the development of theology and doctrine in history, with an examination of philosophers. Leibniz is, so far, my favorite philosopher and Christian apologist. Of course, it’s only the first week. I am enjoying the reading for this, though I will say that I’ve read all weekend for it – managed to finish the reading, but now have to go back and answer the study questions. This is definitely going to be my hardest class.
KCW: This class is a mixture of things. From the catalog: What is the mission of the church? Behind this question is a cluster of related questions, the most important focused on the nature of God’s creative and redemptive purpose (as this is expressed in the biblical story), its ongoing expression in the world, and its consummation in the eschaton. Participants in this course will explore how the church might discern, embrace, and participate in God’s own mission. So pretty much, we read a variety of books, most of which I’ve enjoyed and one of which I hate so far. I know two people in class – one was in my group at new student orientation and another I met at the preview weekend last spring. But part of the class is that we’re split up into small groups that will meet each week for discussion and prayer, and will do a service project together and present a project on our project toward the end of the semester. So I should get to know the people in my group much better as time goes on.
And those are my classes. I’m also working 16 hours a week as corporate minion… I mean, legal assistant, and will definitely be packing a lot of work into those hours while I’m there. Between classes and homework and job, I’m definitely going to be very, very busy.
But hopefully I’ll find some time to update on my progress, and maybe include some funny stories as well. 🙂