Sunday, May 20, 2007

Graduation, or What does it really mean to be a Master of Divinity?

Yesterday was graduation here at PTS. Myself, along with 200 or so other peers, were all conferred with the degree Masters of Divinity for the three years of work in exegesis, theology, practical theology, and field education we all completed. Apparently such coursework affords us the ability to master divinity. Its an interesting title, don't you think? Master of Divinity. I've somehow mastered God because I went to seminary, making me fit to pronounce and teach about him to some congregation. Sure, I probably have a wealth of theological knowledge that some church, somewhere, could valuably acquire through my mastery. And I've learned quite well what it means to write a paper to convey my mastery of God. But when I think about some of the people whom I will come to know in ministry, I feel wholly inadequate as a master of divinity.

The older woman in the church, who for 65 years has been serving her church through her giftedness in hospitality, welcoming new families to a town they are only remotely acquainted with through some brief, though overwhelming interview experience. That's a master of divinity. Or the group of young students, who put aside their weekends to hang out with some guy who is going to come and maybe be their next youth pastor, showing their excitement at that possibility, and making him and his family's nervous concerns disappear. They are masters of divinity. Or the countless numbers of people, who realizing that looking for a home from 1500 miles away is one of the hardest things about relocating, and so offer apartments and homes temporarily, while a new pastor with a young family can find the right home; those are masters of divinity.

I am very proud of my accomplishment, don't get me wrong. But, I realize that while I have learned so much, it is these people in the congregation I have been called to serve, that will continue to teach me what it means to truly be a master of divinity. Thanks be to God.


At 8:14 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 9:13 AM , Blogger Bridgette said...

Very good point, Erik. Your knowledge and biblical understanding will definitely bless others, but it's wonderful that you recognize the ways can uses all people regardless of education level, age, place in life or other such things that we look at and measure by. Kudos to you - Don & I know that you and Amy will be a great influence for the young men and women whom God brings to your ministry.

At 6:05 PM , Blogger Carn-Dog said...

it is a funny title they award graduates

well put


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