Last fall I started having some casual dialogue with longtime friends and educators at
Of course LCU assigned a program director to me who pulled me even further down the slope. Annie is both competent and encouraging. She persuaded me to continue in my downward spiral without ever coming across like a used car sales representative. Her professional competency took me even further down the slope.
I received my official acceptance notification just prior to Thanksgiving. As I ordered textbooks for the first course, I realized I had reached reached the bottom of the slippery slope. I will be reading and composing research papers for the first time since 2003. I am really going back to school.
In all seriousness, I am reminded that my own unique story is driving me toward educational pursuits at age 51. There is a need for qualified professionals to provide counseling services for ministers and their families. I have seen too many colleagues struggle personally over the years with no one to turn to that actually grasps the challenges of their calling. Furthermore the events of this year in my role as a law enforcement chaplain taught me one thing. The needs of police officers, firefighters, and medics are very unique. I have a heart to serve them well, but my skill set must be broadened in a substantive way.
I will continue in my present ministry. All of my schoolwork will be done in early morning hours before the work day begins. I have done that before and I can do it again! The leaders at church have been overwhelmingly supportive. My close friends that I consulted with prior to jumping off the deep end have been more than encouraging. I do believe that these educational pursuits will enhance every aspect of my ministry. It is an exciting time. The first course begins January 6th. No doubt I will be the old guy in the class, but perhaps my life experience will be of some value to my classmates. Maybe I can warn them about slippery slopes…