Two Cent Tuesday – Summer Classes

Currently I am signed up for 2 summer classes. I thought about doing more, but I realized that I would ultimately be cheating myself if I tried to cram an entire semester into the summer. I’ve found that I retain a LOT less information when it is crammed into a 1 week intensive. So, for the sake of my training and education I have elected to only take two classes. On top of that, I decided to NOT take the classes that I knew I needed to devote more attention to than just one week. Cramming the Pauline Epistles into 1 week just seemed, to me, to not be adequate for my proper wrestling with the content…

So, what about you? Summer classes – the good, the bad, the ugly?


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Ryan Burns
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  • Hi, I’m a brand new seminary student returning to school after 20 years. I’m a little freaked out by the whole process, and I’m really having doubts that I’m up to the task ahead of me. I’ve never attended a Bible class in my life, and now I’m facing a pile of 21 “required reading” books that are full of words that I’ve never even heard of. I feel like I should already have a wealth of Bible knowledge before I even start these classes, but I’m just an average mom who feels like she hasn’t had an original thought since she had kids. Are these feelings of inadequacy normal? Any words of encouragement will really be appreciated.

  • Denise,

    First, congrats on going to seminary! Second, feeling inadequate is pretty common. I often don’t feel up to the task… especially when it comes to writing papers. One thing to remember is that every step along the way (even wrestling with feelings of inadequacy) is an opportunity for you to open your heart and life to the shaping and molding of your redeemer’s hand. THAT, I would argue, is what seminary is all about.

    As for all the books and stuff you don’t know… well, I’ll be honest… there are going to be a lot of people in your classes that are coming in with a lot of head knowledge. There will be those who know all the answers to all the questions and those who ask questions that only make sense to the professor… Don’t worry too much about them. Most of them are 20 something guys who have read too many books and don’t have a clue about life. This is the advantage that you have coming into seminary. As a mom with a bit of life experience in her pocket, you bring a real life point of view to the classroom. My wife just finished her first class this semester and she often commented about how many of these young guys just don’t have any clue. They are sharp as tack when you ask them a question… unless that question is, “so, how do you explain that to a 3 year old?”

    Having been out of school for a while will prove to be a little difficult. You’ll have to remember how to write a paper and how to take a test… but it is like riding a bike… once you get back on, it’ll come back to you. My advice to you… not knowing you or your situation (so take my advice for what it is worth) is that you ease into seminary. If you can take 2 or 3 classes the first semester, that might be a big help. If you talk to a counselor or professor, he or she might be able to recommend some good classes to get you started. Taking just a few classes will allow you to get used to being back in school and also get you a bit more acquainted with the seminary lingo.

    In the end… just remember that seminary isn’t about filling your head with facts. It is about getting to know and treasure Jesus more deeply. If you keep that as your focus, I’d say you’ll be just fine.

Written by Ryan Burns