Why youth ministry might mean a degree

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve seen the photos streaming through my Facebook feed: minivans packed to the gills, happy preteens and teenagers smiling together, youth pastors and their groups volunteering. Many of my friends who are pastors and the kids from their congregations recently made the trek out to Detroit. They were there for […]

“Living into your vocation”–what does this mean?

Ever since I started seminary, I’ve heard the word “vocation” a lot. People want to know: why are you here? What’s your “call story”? It can be a tough question to answer if you don’t really know what they’re asking. “Vocation” isn’t a word we typically hear in daily life, especially outside of the church. […]

Graduation and facing next steps

Recently, I had the opportunity to volunteer at graduation for my seminary. To be clear—I did not walk in the ceremony this year, but some of my close friends did. During the commencement service, I saw graduates receive their Master’s degree hoods or wear their Ph.D. bars proudly. It was an amazing moment, to watch […]

Field assignments offer a different kind of learning

This month, I got big news from my seminary. I received my field education assignment for next year. In my denomination (the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), every Master of Divinity student is required to serve as an apprentice pastor in a church for a year before graduation. Starting in August, I’m going to be […]

Paying for (and working your way through) school

Studying theology is a wonderful experience—one that helps pastors and teachers serve both God and other people. But unfortunately, it doesn’t usually come for free. How can you pay for it without relying heavily on student loans?

Good at everything–or the best in a few?

Before my seminary days, I worked as a nonpartisan journalist at the Minnesota House of Representatives. I was interviewing one particular representative for the purposes of writing a profile on her, since her retirement was imminent. I asked her about the best advice she had ever received as a politician. “Find something that you enjoy, […]

Take a class (not at your school)

Taking a seminary class that only lasts a week—sounds pretty amazing, right? While it isn’t for everyone, January term (or J-term) courses are an opportunity that many seminaries offer. These intensive classes can last anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks, taking place between Christmas and the start of spring semester. Currently, […]

Success in seminary starts with self-care

If you’re like me, you like to keep busy. Maybe this sounds familiar: keeping color-coded calendars of to-do items, piling on extra hours at work to get a project just right, and drinking coffee at times of day or night that are just not normal. The list goes on. That’s why, when I came to […]

How Do You Like Your Online Classes?

Yesterday I had a fascinating discussion with friends about online education. I’m going to share our three experiences below, but what I can’t help but wonder as I write this is what your experiences have been? Online education seems to be changing every day and people have such different stories to share. I think we […]

4 Helpful Tips For The New Grad Student

We are about mid-way through the first semester of the year now. It’s getting cold, the leaves are changing, a students are finally beginning to get the hang of school. As I have been having more conversations with our new students on campus, I thought it might be nice to share some of the advice […]