Sunday, November 26, 2006

Farewell to MTC

Finally divine
After four years, and roughly 80,000 words of assignments, 90 hours of exams, 300 hours of chapel, 600 hours of communal meals and 1,500 lectures, I am finally divine (I have always assumed that was the goal of a Bachelor of Divinity). Four years at Moore Theological College have brought many friends, much fun, more than a few tears, a few extra kilos, lots of great reading, and an ever growning awareness of how far there is to go in every conceivable direction.

For the first time in twenty-three years, I will not be part of an educational institution (either studying or teaching). The dizzying open horizons and lack of little lunch scare me.

23 comments:

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

So, will you now be ordained and/or given a parish? Any plans at all? Congrats, again.

Chris Tilling said...

Congratulations! And may God give you widsom for the future.

Patrik said...

Congratulations, Your Divinity!

Is that a PhD I see in you future?

Annette said...

oh, i love a good 'end of an era' reflection. thanks for sharing, don't forget to listen to the greenday song now.

"For the first time in twenty-three years, I will not be part of an educational institution (either studying or teaching)."

Now, there's a phrase to strike fear into the heart... ;)
Try to be brave. (she says while becoming slightly anxious about a similar future prospect dawning in a year or so).

One of Freedom said...

May the leap into the open unknown bring you closer to the Father.

Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Congrats my friend!

Is the bachelors of divinity an undergraduate degree in Australia? Are you headed into parish ministry or elsewhere?

I'm sure you're tired of being asked about your plans... Congratulations enjoy your break from study.

Anonymous said...

"growning": growing + groaning, cf. Romans 8v22-3 and v28-9

;)

byron said...

Thanks to Michael, Chris, Patrik, Annette (I think), Frank and Aric.

Drew - precisely.

To those from marginal/alternative education systems (i.e. Americans and non-Australians generally), the B.D. at MTC is a four-year, graduate degree (i.e. only open to those with a previous three/four/(five in my case)-year degree) sort of equivalent to an American MDiv (as I understand it). It remains a Bachelor, rather than a postgraduate, degree in order to rort the Australian student welfare system, since government financial assistance is available to undergraduate students under certain conditions (this may be another novelty for Americans, called the welfare state). As an added bonus, by not giving a Masters degree to students who have already studied for at least seven years, the college can also gain more students by offering an MA or MTh program to those who want to come back for more Moore. Nifty.

As for my future plans - although about 3/4 of those in my year are heading into ordained Anglican ministry, I have not been on that track and so next year will be working four days/wk as a ministry assistant in a parish in Leichhardt (about twenty minutes walk away from where we're currently living - beautiful! I'll post on this soon), with the possibility of (real) postgraduate study at some future stage dependent upon the will of God and various scholarship-offering bodies. I'm open to suggestions (and financial contributions...). Fire away.

Anonymous said...

Yes yes I've heard all about your magical welfare state. In fact I lived in the UK for a few years (Edinburgh) and very very much enjoyed participating in a society that actually cares about its citizens. Unfortunately we barbarous Americans would prefer to build prisons than hospitals. *sigh*

Blessings upon you in your ministry at Leichhardt.

psychodougie said...

i shudder to think what you'll do blogwise with the extra time up your sleeve - i find it hard enough keeping up with your vast work and thoughts when you're extraordinarily busy, let alone when you've less on your plate!
top work.

Justin said...

Mr Foster, I presume.

byron said...

Justin - or Rev Foster, whichever you prefer.

Elwyn said...

Congratulations!

Does this mean that you'll be entering the 9-to-5 routine in some way and help out the government with your tax dollars? :-)

byron said...

Doug - no fear, I've still got plenty of other things to keep me out of trouble.

Elwin - although I've never left educational institutions, I have spent some time holding the chalk rather than the paper planes in the classroom and so the privilege of contributing to the common good through taxation will not be a novelty for me. As for 9-5 routine, I doubt it. It's just not what ministry is like, because many things are scheduled in the evenings and on weekends when 9-5 workers are available. Nonetheless, I'm sure it will be very different from the last few years.

Rob said...

Congrats man. =D

Ben Myers said...

Congrats, Byron. I'll be very cross if you don't go and do a PhD as well.

And speaking of our welfare state: it's well worth doing a PhD in Oz with an Australian Postgraduate Award, so that you can (a) have no fees, and (b) get paid to do the doctorate.

byron said...

Thanks Ben for the vote of confidence. The APAs are certainly very attractive in terms of obtainability/live-ability ratio. Where in Oz do you propose I study?

Ben Myers said...

"Where in Oz?" Ah, unfortunately that's that hard part....

michael jensen said...

Do you supervise students yet, Ben?

Annette said...

"Where in Oz?"

Yes, it would be wonderful if someone could do a post on Top 10 places to study theology academically in australia (i.e. not necessarily for the purposes of becoming a minister). Is there masters level type programs anywhere?

top 5 even...?

byron said...

Great question, Annette - I'd love to hear some opinions.

Ben Myers said...

Melbourne College of Divinity has a good range of postgrad degrees (including a range of Masters programmes).

michael jensen said...

I don't think there ARE 10...