In May, with any luck at all, I'll go on to graduate from Duke University's Divinity School with a Masters in Divinity. As if someone could ever get a degree in the Divine.
I've thoroughly enjoyed nearly every moment, nearly every friend (honesty), and nearly every course (only Jesus was perfect) at Duke Divinity. It has been challenging, downright difficult in fact, and it has even--at times--made me want to quit and go back to playing music for a living. Music, while a terrible business to be in, can be far more soothing to the soul than attempting to recount every early church heresy for a seemingly silly exam. I worked hard in undergraduate school to make top-notch grades (in fact, if I had a B at midterms in a course, I withdrew from it if at all possible). At Duke, if I can scrape by with a B, I'm more than happy.
Duke, as an institution, has changed my world. At Duke Divinity I learned that worship is so much more than I had ever imagined. I learned that seminary students drink and cuss just as much, if not more, as any other human being on this planet (they're real people too!). I learned that basketball is a life changing activity. At Duke I also learned more about a loving God than I might have ever imagined. Duke has been a wonderful place for a future minister to grow in their own faith while discerning a call to help others do just that.
Over the next few months I hope to provide anyone who stumbles upon this blog even the smallest insight into what it's like to be changed by an academic environment that teaches about the God who changes us. It's an odd dynamic to be sure, and one that might take me years to fully comprehend.
One thing is for certain though: I'm changed. For better, I hope. No matter the direction or difficulty of the journey, I'm changed.
Perhaps I could even say it like this: I've been made new while studying the God who makes all things new. That's good, right?
Yeah. It is. If a divinity program, which hopes to form ministers to preach to the world that change and renewal is an essential part of our life of faith, is to be successful then the self-acknowledgment of said minister's own renewal is a necessity of the divinity program. Duke's done a fantastic job of doing that for me.
I'm incredibly grateful. Change. Renewal. Faith. All large reasons why I will leave Duke acknowledging the importance of my experience there.