Learning theology is like learning to speak a language. This can be said about many, if not all, academic disciplines or areas of knowledge and/or skill. Over the years of my life in the church and studying theology both at school and on my own, (especially in the past year), I feel like have have learned this language well enough to possibly say something intelligible.
My initial desire to study theology was driven by my curiosity and desire to study a subject which had eternal value. And although my understanding of the subject of theology as well as what indeed is eternal has changed a great deal, I believe that this desire remains primarily unchanged.
I wanted to continue my theological training by pursuing a Masters degree because I felt as though I had barely scratched the surface as to what this whole thing was about. Or, to continue the metaphor, I was not even speaking this language of theology in full sentences yet. Learning to speak a language and thinking in it are inextricably linked. My increased ability to speak this theological language, and my thinking that I may have something to say in it, are thusly linked. I have not, by any means, mastered this language, but I now feel as though I can speak it.
I have become, along the way, a theologian.
That is not said with any amount of pride and I do not believe that there is any intrinsic stature or priority in that title, but I believe that the category of the way I think and the convictions I hold about my self, the world, and the church have been labelled by my tradition as a theologian.
All this is to say that I suppose my life is on the path of a theologian, and in order to join this guild in any sort of official capacity these days, it must be accompanied by academic qualifications.
My desire and ability to contribute to this field, along with the encouragement of mentors and the support and love of my amazing and beautiful wife, have compelled me to pursue my Ph.D. I have recently been accepted and will begin studying for this designation as soon as all the bureaucracy and paper work has been sorted.
What does this all mean? Well, I will be housed and supervised by lecturers at Laidlaw Carey Graduate School, while officially being enrolled in the Department of Applied Humanities at AUT in Auckland. I will have to complete the majority of study here in NZ, which will extend our stay in New Zealand for another year or so longer than originally planned.
This was not an easy decision for us to make, as we dearly miss our family and friends back in Canada. The availability and accessibility of such an opportunity has come about by surprise, but we feel excited about what the journey may hold and how it may impact our future.
Thanks for joining us along the way. We appreciate your support, love, and prayers!