No. I'm not pregnant.
Important things happen that don't involve babies, you know ;)
I have resigned from my position as a pastor with the Oregon Conference in order to pursue doctoral studies at the theological seminary at Andrews University. Yes, my knowledge addiction has taken me this far.
Q. What are you doing your PhD in?
A. Religion (Theological Studies)
Q. When do you start?
A. August 2012.
Q. Why are you waiting a year?
A. Because right now my brain is tired from three full-time years of MDiv coursework, and I'd like to start the PhD excited rather than exhausted. Also, taking a year off of formal coursework will allow me to narrow down my interests, to study for (and pass!) the prerequisite German and French exams, to save a pocketful of change, and to read a bunch of books that have nothing to do with theology but will nourish my creativity.
Q. How long will it take to do a PhD?
A. If I was really fast, 3 years. If I'm really slow, 10 years.
Q. What are you going to do once you've finished the PhD?
A. Start paying back my loans.
Q. No, seriously. Are you going to be a professor? I thought you were a pastor.
A. People who have 10-year plans use a lot of erasers because you know what? Life changes. People change. Loves change. Doors turn into walls and walls into doors. The horizon expands and contracts and sometimes you're in the fog and sometimes on the bluff. So I don't know what I'm going to do when I'm done with this degree. I would love to be able to return to full-time ministry and I think the local church context is a really important and really fun place to do ministry. But classroom ministry might be cool too. And I shed more than a few tears saying goodbye to my campus chaplaincy job. Let's revisit this question in 10 years and we'll see what the Lord has done with me.
Q. Are you crazy?!
A. Yes, a little. This is clearly the crazier path financially because I just let go of a real job with a real salary and real benefits in order to get an expensive degree which will provide no salary-raising qualifications in the end. // And it's crazy, too, because I don't really know if I can do this PhD thing. Supposedly it's really hard. And the only way to find out if I can do it is by trying. So, here we go!