Because life is a series of edits

Good News (I Think)

In Thought on April 21, 2008 at 2:00 am

As a follow-up to my degree transition post last week, I thought I'd let you know Covenant approved my request; the memo, however, was a little strange. Consider this paragraph:

"Congratulations! At its meeting yesterday, the Faculty approved your request to change to the Master of Arts, Theological Studies/Master of Arts in Educational Ministry double degree program. The faculty asked me [Diane Preston, Associate Dean for Academic Services] specifically to express their regret at your request. They recognize your love for teaching (your current job) but they also recognize the great ability with which the Lord has gifted you. They want to encourage you to continue to pursue the perfecting of those gifts."

Without reading too much into it, I confess I'm not quite sure what exactly to make of this. Is this the standard template for requests like these, or is it meant as specifically as it seems? And if the latter, what specifically is meant here? Maybe I'm not as intuitive as I thought.

I'm probably going to email a couple of my profs for more insight, but I thought I'd at least share the good news that the transition has officially been approved…now to actually get some work done on the remainder of my assignments this semester and live up (or down – whichever it is now) to my degree requirements.

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  1. If that was a paragraph in a student essay, the margins would contain “MCN”, my shorthand for More Clarity Needed. (It used to be More Explanation Needed, but a few males students took offense.)

  2. My guess (knowing many of these people and the institution pretty well) is that it was personalized, at least to a large degree.
    Two things to keep in mind: first, the default posture of CTS is focused on the church (and by that I mean the institutional church)– thus, to see a capable and gifted teacher like yourself functionally leave the church (institutional) to serve another ministry is (rightly) viewed as a loss for the institutional church.
    Second, they see (and have seen) a lot of people come through the seminary, and it’s likely that more than a few have evidenced some aspects of a call to vocational ministry, yet have (for one reason or another) determined to pursue something else. It’s also possible (likely?) that some of these have also revisited the idea of the vocational ministry call down the line.
    You could (and should) take it as both a compliment to what your professors have seen you demonstrate in terms of gifts and abilities, as well as an encouragement to keep an open mind about the long-term.
    At any rate, good for you that they have approved your changes. Press on!

  3. I suspect it means that they (like so many of us) continue to see great God-given potential in you. Some folks are gifted for a very specific purpose; while others have a broader range of gifts and abilities. Congratulations on having your transition approved.

  4. This is about a change in degree programs?? I thought they were lamenting your hasteful decision to cut your promising student council career short. Now that’s the real tragedy here.

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