What to do with your PhD when you can’t get a Job.

Marc Cortez has been crushing the dreams of PhD students again, this time specifically for those who might teach at an ATS accredited school. If you survived his first attempt thinking you might have a better chance teaching in a specifically Christian program, this one surely put you out of your misery.

Jim West thinks it might be a good thing and hopes that these crushed dreams will lead theologians back to the pulpit where they belong. Brian LePort questions his question and wonders whether it would indeed be good, and what it should look like.

I will offer another way. No optimistic spin here. I will merely offer a glimpse into the future for those who are pursuing their PhD’s or perhaps a look in the mirror if you have the degree, but no job.

You could go this route if you think you have a better voice than Bruce McCulloch.

The degree finally becomes useful.

Well, at least you’ll still have your dignity.

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Semester the Second

My next semester at Western Seminary will begin on January 9. I’m excited to be continuing my Greek studies with a course on Syntax with Dr. James DeYoung. I just read the assigned reading for the first week in our text, which is  Wallace’s Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics. We used Mounce’s text the first semester, which I had gone through about 5 years ago during my undergrad, so I’m excited to be moving beyond what I’ve done before. The first semester was still plenty challenging, even being a review of sorts, but it remains to be seen how difficult this next course will be. Having just read the introductory material and the first few chapters on case, I think that while a bit dry, the nuance and depth of syntax will keep me interested.

One of the greatest helps for me going through the first semester was using my Greek every day. However, since the end of the semester, I’ve realized how difficult it is to maintain that habit without the accountability of homework. I need to seriously consider the best way to maintain and keep up what I’ve learned so far, while at the same time continuing to learn the material for this next level.

 

The other class I’ll be taking this semester is called Wisdom from Church History, taught by Dr. Marc Cortez. This is a class that I’m particularly excited about for a few reasons. I’ve never had the opportunity to study Church History before, beyond my own limited reading, and loving both history and the church, it’s an area that I’ve long desired to dive into. I’m also excited to take my first course from Dr. Cortez. When Shelby and I visited Western for the first time, my admission counselor set up a meeting with Marc and we were able to chat at length about the school, our goals, and whether Western might be a good fit. Since that first conversation, though I’ve not had a class with him, I’ve consistently enjoyed and been challenged by what he writes at his blog, Everyday Theology. He has a fantastic sense of humor, especially for a seminary prof, and as the title of his blog suggests, is passionate about the intersection of theology with life. He is also the director of Western’s Th.M. program, which is one that I’m considering after I complete my M.A. Put it all together and I’m excited by what I’ll be studying, and who I’ll be studying with.

 

I’m thrilled with how my first semester has gone, and I’m looking forward to the next. I did well in the three classes I took, and also received a number of credits by doing some Advanced Standing testing. Perhaps the most exciting thing is to see the transforming work the Holy Spirit is doing in my heart and life as I learn and live. The combination of school and church and life with my wife have provided me with ample opportunities to grow in practical knowledge and experience, as well as in grace and wisdom.