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Wisdom Calls

August 21, 2020

“Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice?” Proverbs 8:1

Last week, I had my first first day of school in nineteen years. In response to a reader question, here’s what that’s all about.

I am pursuing a Doctor of Ministry at Candler School of Theology. Candler is part of Emory University, one of the premier universities in the nation. The Doctor of Ministry (DMin) is a three-year degree program designed for full-time ministry professionals. It is primarily an online program with a few visits to campus. They didn’t need to pivot too much due to the coronavirus, although our orientation this past week was supposed to be in Atlanta, not Zoomlanta. From the Candler website:

The Doctor of Ministry is designed for experienced ministers who want to strengthen the connection between theology and ministry practice.

The program will provide ministry professionals with advanced training and the skills necessary to analyze ministry practices through sustained biblical, ecclesiological and theological reflection, and to discern, shape and disseminate new practices in the service of the gospel. The curriculum is designed for experienced ministers—those who have received their MDiv and have at least three years of experience—offering two tracks, Church Leadership and Community Witness and Biblical Interpretation and Proclamation.

My cohort has thirty students, twenty-one of whom are in the Church Leadership track. Along with eight others, I’m in the Biblical Interpretation track. It was an absolute joy, enlivening and energizing, to enter into community with these students and our program leaders and professors this past week. I am looking forward to learning alongside these gifted ministry practitioners and growing in my gifts as a theologian, interpreter, and proclaimer of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

More than a few of you have given voice to questions along the line of, “Are you crazy?” To be sure, this is going to be a lot of work. As they say, terminal degrees are supposed to hurt a little bit. The simple fact is that I am at a point in both life and ministry where I need to reengage the academic world for the growth it will give me, both personally and professionally. Each participant in the program is juggling full-time work and assorted family commitments, so we’ll help one another along the way. I am excited! I also have a lot of reading to do this weekend.

I am thankful to Grace for being a community willing to embrace this opportunity, and for supporting me through prayer, financial support, and partnership in the learning process. Y’all are the best. I’m also grateful for Erika and our kids, who put up with me and offer love and encouragement beyond what I deserve. Y’all are the bestest.

Here’s to a great school year!

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of wisdom, you take your stand at the crossroads and beckon your people to hear your voice. Give ears to hear to all who are returning to school during this time of pandemic. Grant knowledge and wisdom, especially the wisdom to put our faith in you. In Jesus name. Amen.

Image: That’s Candler. Photo by a Candler student, used with permission.

From → COVID-19

  1. William Shoup permalink

    Good luck and enjoy the learning.

    Have a great weekend!

    Bill Shoup

    Tel: 843.237.3583

    Cell: 843.833.3578

  2. Paul Haberstock permalink

    Good Morning Pastor Lyle – Please enjoy this at your leisure only reply as substantively moved.

    Gracefully, Paul

    On Fri, Aug 21, 2020 at 7:51 AM Grace upon Grace wrote:

    > Dave Lyle posted: “”Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise > her voice?” Proverbs 8:1 Last week, I had my first first day of school in > nineteen years. In response to a reader question, here’s what that’s all > about. I am pursuing a Doctor of Ministry at Candl” >

  3. Carole Walther permalink

    Best wishes in this adventure.

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