You can visit the post at Dee’s site that I reference by clicking here.
Wow, Brad – I haven’t been by in a while and look what you’ve done to the place! I LOVE it!
And I really like your Podcast of today. I guess that’s what it is, hunh? Or what do you call it? It’s way cool and I want to learn how to do that! Can you teach me? How do you think my readers at Finding Direction would like my Southern drawl?
I’m serious about that. I looked into it several months ago right after Katrina, but didn’t pursue it. I especially like how you’ve incorporated it into your blog here.
Okay – to the subject at hand. First of all, I’m glad I inspired you today because that was what I was wanting to do for anyone who dropped by and so I feel like I’ve succeeded if you feel the least bit inspired by what I had to say about things I’ve worked very hard on in my life.
You ask how does one decide critical questions and issues such as you raise about what direction to go in going back to graduate school. I would offer this advice based on my own personal experiences, careers and education and the lives of others I’ve met in my life, in my schooling at all different levels, including especially in law school, my highest level of education (to date, anyway. I’ve actually considered further advanced degrees or post-doctoral schooling).
I think, based on all of the above, you should broaden your scope in any further education and go maybe a slightly different direction, maybe like you say, into a more business oriented major or something different that you really like other than the theology degrees you’ve accumulated.
It’s all well and go to specialize in one particular field and there’s a lot to be said for that. And maybe it depends on your own basic nature and personality and strengths that you feel you have.
But it’s been my experience and those of the people I think are most well rounded that expanding one’s self into new and different directions and possibilities brings out the best in many individuals. In broadening your horizons, I’ve found much good is to be found within yourself that perhaps you did not know was there.
I suppose I think of my own life’s richness that has come about for me by doing a lot of different things and I also see that in many people I’ve known, particularly in law school, where I met people from a very wide variety of backgrounds who came together in law as a culminating choice tying up all of the different things they had successfully done previously.
It may be the difference, however, between those more inclined in to the schools of scientific knowledge than those towards the arts. But even then there can be a wide range of disciplines engaged by a person.
I know that for myself while I leaned a lot more toward humanities and fields such as psychology, journalism, mass communication and law I got my undergraduate degree in as a Bachelor of Science and not as a B.A., skipping foreign languages for the sciences. Still, I took a lot of cross-discipline studies in the school of communication, in journalism, in philosophy, in marketing, a vast variety of courses.
In my “careers” I did the same thing, taking a variety of jobs in totally unrelated fields and eventually tying them all together.
As for how you go about choosing from a “list” of variables when not sticks out particularly, I think, as a Christian, we pray and seek input from God, but that we are not bound by any one particular course, but can be blessed by several if we make the best choice we can under the present circumstances given us. I think God can be honored in many different ways as we live our lives and pursue goals either with or without having one clear goal in mind. Life is what happens to us as we pursue whatever endeavor we have decided upon to the best of our abilities. Surprises await us no matter which direction we go, I’ve found, sometimes delightfully and sometimes appallingly, but either way God has stood with me through all and in all and above all, so that I lost nothing in the end, although the process may have been difficult to go through.
Those are my observations and thoughts in offering advice to you in your current decision making. You are still a young man by most accounting and get older one day at a time just like we all do no matter which direction you decide to follow. I would encourage you to continue to pray and ask for wisdom and advice from those you respect and admire and then go for it with enthusiasm and confidence in a positive outcome.
Cheers & Blessings to you as you seek to make positive changes in your life, Brad! I will be praying for you and with you, too.
First, I am very impressed with your piano playing in the background! You didn’t miss a note, talking all the while.
Second, I know my MA was a very helpful factor in securing ministry positions. It’s difficult to compete without some type of advanced degree. On the other hand, looking back as I approach possibly the final year of full time preaching, the various seminars I’ve attended and training classes I’ve taken (such as conflict resolution / mediation training through Pepperdine School of Law) have helped me more than the traditional educational track.
If you must have a degree to compete or to fulfill your dream, then by all means go for it. If not, and looking from just one guy’s perspective, I’d spend the time and money in some specific skills areas rather than pursuing another degree.
I dropped out of grad school and left a doctoral degree sort of dangling out there when my daughter was born and I needed a full time job more than I needed to remain in school. At the time I regretted it. Today, I don’t regret it at all. So no one calls me “Dr. England.” Someone does call me “Daddy” and I prefer than to the other. And in retrospect, I’m not sure the additional degree would have made much difference in where I landed and what I did.
I do applaud you willingness and desire to continually keep your mind fresh and engaged and your ambition not to just settle for life. And that you want to help others become what they have the potential to become is a worthy pursuit. I suppose in the long run it’s what you can afford … not financially, but in all other realms of life and relationship.
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