Jul 30, 2009

Back to school

Yup, after taking eight years to get my first degree, I'm enrolling to get another. And what's more - it's another bachelor's degree! Not even a graduate degree! I looked around for an IT Master's program that interests me, but there aren't any in the area. But there's a bachelor's degree in the area that interests me ...

The Diocese of Tulsa runs a Pastoral Studies Institute. They offer all kinds of Catholic classes and training; including credit courses to get a degree in Pastoral Ministry thru Newman University. If you already have an undergraduate degree, like me, then you only have to take 30 credit hours of theology courses to earn the Pastoral Ministry degree. And the classes are extremely cheap - $50 per credit hour! So the entire degree is $1,500 ... compared to a Theology Masters degree I looked at that cost $25,000!!

I'm pretty excited because I seem to spend lots of time studying theology anyway, so now I can earn a degree with it. The only down-side is I have limited time and I can't take as many classes as I want. :( Some classes this semester are:

  • Sacramental Theology

  • Gospel of St. John, Read Through Fathers of the Church and St. Thomas Aquinas

  • Old Testament Literature

  • Philosophical Foundations for Theology

Sadly I'm only able to enroll in Old Testament Literature this semester. I so want to take Philosophical Foundations for Theology. There's even a Lectio Divina class! Anyway, hopefully next semester I can take at least two classes. I'm also hoping they come up with some kind of Master's program during the 5 semesters I'll be doing the Bachelor's. ;)


Kristi said...

I have to ask: Are you wanting to be a pastor? I don't guess you can be a priest (with the wife and bambino). I can tell you are excited about this!!!! I love the feeling of finding something that seems to click with who you are and what you want.

Therese in Heaven said...

Cool! That's much more reasonable than what I'm doing. I'm halfway through the Masters Program at Catholic Distance University, which is fabulous, but money has started to become more of an issue.

God bless you in your studies!

luke said...

Yeah, I can't be a "Pastor" ...

But I think the degree helps if I want to do any lay ministry like RCIA or catechism, or if I want to teach religion or theology classes at a Catholic school.

Mostly I'm thinking it would just be cool to have the education to see what it's like and help me in my personal studies. So yeah, I'm excited.

Jeff said...

Funny. I think you are already a pastor in every Biblical sense of the word (Hebrew, Greek, and Latin). Maybe not in terms of "tradition."

But then, I believe that there is only One true Pastor/Shepherd. The rest of us are members of his body or "flock" who are responsible for one another.

Here's the flow chart:

7 billion of us...

+ Alan said...

Weeelll, you can "sort of" be a "pastor," if not technically, in a Catholic context. There are many lay pastoral ministers in the Catholic Church these days. They lead parishes where no priest is available (or often act as associates). There would, then, be a priest who comes in as a "sacramental minister" on a weekly basis (kind of like a circuit rider). But for all practical purposes, these lay ministers "pastor" the people of the parish. So, the field may be bigger than you might think on what you can do.

luke said...

well I'm much more comfortable with the idea of a 'theology' degree than the idea of 'pastoring' anyone. :)

you know I love that org chart, Jeff. but there's also something about 7 billion people that just can't seem to self-organize very effectively. ;)

and now Therese has told me about CDU, so it looks like there's plenty of schooling out there if I want it! thanks Therese!

Therese in Heaven said...

No problem. I really, really love my school. And as far as Masters programs go, its the least expensive Catholic one I've seen, and you can do it at your own pace where ever you live. Its a lot of money still, but their rates are very competitive.

Plus, they are very orthodox, so you know that what they teach is authentic Catholic doctrine, which you can't always know at some other schools.

Living A Liturgy said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog, Luke. It is true, technology does keep us closer to many more people farther away. I just get overwhelmed with it sometimes because it can seem so shallow.

I read your "Beginnings" post, it was inspiring. I am on my own journey (hopefully) leading to the Catholic Church. My husband and I are going to RCIA for the first time on Thursday night after years of studying the church. I am very excited!!

luke said...

That's great news, Michelle! I'll pray for you during my Adoration hour that night!

You might check some of my other posts about RCIA. At times it can feel a bit underwhelming, especially if you're already accustomed to Anglican traditions.

I'm glad I went thru RCIA rather than doing private catechism, because I met some great people and was able to assimilate into the parish more easily. But private catechism is also an option, and I know at least one person who really enjoyed that process as well.