So you just finished your last Final and so begins your intersession break. Now it’s time for a vacation and relaxation right? Well, yes but not entirely.
I’ve made the mistake in the past of utilizing my breaks as “detox” periods from school and a time to let go of all cares and worries related to studying. The error in this decision is manifested spiritually in my walk with God and physically at the beginning of the next semester as I am suddenly struck with the realization that I needed to review what I learned from the past semester to retain what I learned as my new classes built upon those lessons.
So, to make the most of your breaks I suggest doing the following during the breaks:
1. Review, review, review.
By reviewing your notes, lessons, and assignments during your break, you not only retain the information better, preparing you for the next semester, but you also create healthy habits for becoming a life-long learner. The hope is that seminary isn’t simply a step to gain another credential to add to your resume but rather is a step towards transformation and equipping you for Kingdom work.
2. Go on a personal retreat or vacation.
Using your intersession break to relax is very important. The break is there for a reason so now it’s time to recharge, reflect, and assess. Go on a retreat or vacation to recharge physically and spiritually. Take this time to do the things that recharge you. This can look like different things to different people. The important thing is to be able to re-center yourself on Christ and feel uplifted and encouraged.
Meanwhile, use this time to also reflect on how what you’ve learned has transformed you and helped you become better equipped for what you feel God is calling you to. In my own experience, reflection is the major component of personal transformation and is vital during your seminary career.
Once you’ve reflected on what you’ve learned and how you have been transformed, assess the health of your relationship with God. Never be afraid of questioning where you are and if God is still leading you in the direction you are going. Be sensitive to the guiding of the Holy Spirit and be open to change and adjustments.
3. Prepare for the following Semester/Quarter.
Chances are you know what classes you are taking the coming term and have access to the syllabi. Order your books ahead of time and start reading and get ahead. Getting ahead before the term starts will help you tremendously as this will give you some margin during the term for the unexpected.
I personally found it all too easy to become lethargic during the breaks and fall behind so I’m not saying it’s easy. Rather I’m saying Seminary really is a commitment and moreover, walking with God and working for His Kingdom is an even bigger commitment and lifelong journey.
By Joseph Siacunco. Joseph is a Masters of Divinity Student at Denver Seminary located in Littleton, CO. He currently works at Mission Hills Church in the Finance Department and is a Certified Public Accountant. He has worked in Accounting since 2004 but also serves at his church in other ways including teaching and preaching.