Some have pointed out to me that my doctoral program degree has an evil title (DMin = "demon"). Perhaps. In many ways that is a more accurate title than my master’s degree (MDiv). MDiv stands for "Master of Divinity". It’s really a misnomer for a degree name. I don’t know any true "master" of divinity accept for God. I can’t even master humanity! I’m still bumbling around this earth and in this body!
Now, my undergrad degree (BA) is amuch more appropriate title. I am a bachelor to the arts, after all… I’m not married to them. Actually, I like to read this degree title, not as "B" and "A" but rather as "Bah"- as in the sound a sheep makes. I am, after all, just a dump sheep. I’ve spent years of school and thousands of dollars to discover that.
I am and always will be a sheep. An unaware oaf of a being. Except when my Shepherd calls. To his voice I listen. I’m a follower of his rod and staff. I’m loved by my Shepherd. Given more value than I’m worth. No amount of formal education will change the fact that I’m woolly and cuddly in my Shepherds arms. And stinky too.
Well, even if my degree might someday be demonizing… I must admit that the students in my cohort are saintly. Well… at least to some degree they are. These men and women are becoming some of my dearest friends. From all over Canada and from various church and life backgrounds, we’ve gathered together twice a year since 2005 (6 times now). We’ve taken the same courses, written the same assignments, discussed the same topics. We’re all in love with Jesus and with his Church. And we’re seeking how to become better sheep for this next century of Church life. Here’s a photo of our wee group having dinner in BC a couple weeks ago.
(From left to right) Annissa– currently lives in Richmond, BC, but works for the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church in Hong Kong as a social worker. Me– a sheep in Calgary. Doug– working with the Pentecostal Assemblies of God in Ottawa developing campus ministries! Len– resides in Kelowna doing computer software and a part of a wonderful house church… Len is also a voice in the emergent church in Canada. Larry– is the one with the halo behind his head! He lives in the lower mainland of BC and serves as the director of church planting for the Alliance churches in BC… Larry’s wife, Diane, sits beside him- and is one of the greatest hosts I’ve ever known! Kuen– lives in Edmonton and is a gifted Bible teacher who naturally gathers followings of students. Wendy– lives in Vancouver and serves as a social worker with the hardest hit men and women. Gin– who I think of as Wonder Woman, lives in Langley and is gifted in children’s ministry. It’s an honor to be among such wonderful men and women.