Once seminary is over, or at least you have an M.Div., the world seems full of possibilities and directions and left me feeling a little directionless.
Over the past few months, I’ve gained direction in ministry and in my family and in my writing. I’ve found little nooks and crannies of myself to explore. But I can’t avoid wanting to further my education in a variety of ways, and over the last few days, I’ve had a series of conversations on how to continue my education. This has inadvertently led me to little bits of information that I think will ultimately help me to become a better pastor and a more rounded person.
The following bits of advice seem very relevant to me, and may possibly to you as well. But I had not really thought of many of them before.
- Attend Conferences on Subjects that are interesting to you. In other words meet people that have similar interests.
- Find the good books. Publishers set out lists of books that are coming out – read the catalogs.
- Decide if you want a narrow focus with a great deal of depth or if you want a broad focus with the depth you can manage.
All of this has led me to look into heading to the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature Conference this fall. three other conferences seem interesting, but making all of them is out of the question. The two other than the AAR and SBL conference that get priority are the Wesleyan Theological Society and the Congress on Evangelism.
At the moment, the factors determining attendance will be location and cost, but both sound fascinating.
This may seem obvious, but I wasn’t raised in an academic or pastoral environment. My upbringing was pretty good, and I have no complaints. It does make me miss the obvious sometimes. This at least outlines a way I can further my education and keep up with what’s going on in a variety of topics.