Josh Philpot

Theology, the Church, and Music

Reflections on Seminary part 1

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A little over a week ago (5.15.09) I graduated from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. What transpired during the four years it took me to complete the degree has been nothing short of extraordinary – emphasis on “extra.” As such, I felt that it might be helpful/interesting to recall my experience as a seminarian for others who want to know what this kind of life is like, or who are currently swimming through the clear-but-sometimes-murky waters of the pastor-in-training (or was that murky-but-sometimes-clear?). I’ll post something different about my experience for the next few days.

Let me begin with a conclusion: I loved seminary! While difficult academically, straining on relationships, challenging to marriage, and financially strenuous, the experience and education was incredible. Therefore, I have a completely positive outlook on seminary am thankful for God’s grace in sustaining me through it.

I started seminary in Fall 2005 at Liberty University, my undergraduate Alma Mater (B.M. in Spring 2005). My schedule that year included Systematic Theology I, Old Testament I, the Doctrine of Islam (which was a mistake), and Theology of Exodus. While I didn’t enjoy the teaching of my professors (save one), I remained committed to working hard. If I remember correctly, I had only one week of class in August before Jenn and I drove to New York to be married. While I was starting a Master’s degree Jenn was one year away from completing her’s in counseling, and although we both felt that we would like to move and attend a better seminary (like SBTS), we first decided to stay at LU until Jenn’s education was done. So, my first year was spent at LU and was highly eventful. I took 4 classes during that time, worked as a grad assistant, got married, found out that I was a type-1 diabetic, worked as an academic adviser, and moved to Louisville to begin at SBTS and study full-time.

As an aside, the choice to go to SBTS was based on many reasons, not the least of which was its characteristic adherence to the Reformed faith and world-class faculty. Overall I just felt that I would be better equipped for the pastorate if I went to SBTS. I still think this is true.

Here are a few of the limited pictures we have from that first year: the campus at LU, our wedding, and a few good friends that we left in Virginia:

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Written by Josh Philpot

May 27, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Posted in Seminary

Tagged with ,

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