My first day as a student at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity was Wednesday. Orientation ends today and classes start at the end of the month.
I am studying for a Master of Divinity degree, a professional degree in Christian ministry. I am starting with a light load now, going to a heavier load next semester. I will continue to practice law, practicing starting in January around ½ to ¾ time over the next 3 years while working towards the M. Div. degree and returning to full-time practice the next year. I am very excited about going to Divinity School. I have wanted to engage in the sustained study of theology from a practical perspective for a long time. I don’t have a particular goal besides learning more about God, challenging myself, getting to know some admirable people, and better equipping myself to help others. I am not aiming to be a preacher–only about 20-30% of people who go to Divinity School go on to be preachers. I am particularly interested in the intersection of religion with science, law, and public policy, but I am looking forward to studying a wide range of subjects. I am hoping to do some good out there somewhere. I’ve described part of my goal as “staring into the abyss and trying to figure out the answers to all the questions,” but no one to which I said this has laughed along with me. So serious!
I would love to say I heard a clear voice directing me to go to seminary, but I did not. Things have worked out, though. Tracey said she “will tolerate this,” which is really about all that can reasonably be asked when I threw her this curve ball in our lives. Toleration has its limits. She did not think a joke about me wearing my 1988 fraternity letters on campus was funny. My imitations of the preacher from The Simpsons are also not well received. My law partners have been highly supportive. I have not told many people of my plans. The family and friends that I told have been highly supportive, too, and have ranged from happy to proud to envious to worried about me to worried about Tracey to amused to very encouraging. Sounds about right.
If you could keep me and my family in your thoughts and prayers, I would appreciate it.
I plan to blog about my experience, thoughts, and learnings from time to time, which I will hesitantly post on Facebook while hoping for your comments, questions, and patience.