"I didn't know girls could go to seminary."

A little more than a year ago we told our church small group that we were moving away from Ithaca to attend seminary.  As we shared the story of how we came to that decision and it became clear that both Charles and I were going to be in the MDiv program my dear friend Heather looked confused.  She confessed,

"I didn't know girls could go to seminary."

Heather grew up in the church, has evident pastoral giftings, and is a passionate worship leader.  Her comment launched a discussion in our small group about women in the church, women in scripture, and the apparent lack of opportunity for them and their gifts to be developed in the church.  From that evening until this week something has been stirring in my heart that I couldn't quite verbalize until now.  

Heather, this blog is for you.

And for Jenn. . . And Bethany. . . And Debbie. . . And my Mom. . . And all the women in my life who never considered seminary, never even knew they could consider seminary, and don't know how it would be remotely possible to attend seminary.  My heart is stirred up for you to grow.  This blog will by no means replace the experience of seminary for you, but my hope is that here you can 

learn along with me and be inspired to keep learning, practicing, and growing in love for God and people

With that in mind, please please please comment and ask questions and (respectfully) dialogue with me and others here.  My goal is to share every week at least one thing that I learned or experienced.  Let's grow together!

I enjoyed this first week of classes, even if it was stressful to manage homework and home life (especially since Leo's been a little sick).  Charles and I are taking two classes together: Spiritual Formation in Ministry on Mondays and The Practice of Worship: Advanced Studies in Worship Planning, Leading and Congregational Formation on Thursdays.  I also have a one credit class on Mondays that is the introduction for the practical ministry training requirement here at Gordon-Conwell, Mentored Ministry.  

This week I want to share a few notes from our Spiritual Formation class with Dr. Pfizenmaier:


The average tenure of pastor is 5 years and most people leave the ministry within the first 5 years.  The question is: how deep are your roots?  Are you a beautiful tree with shallow roots?  Without deep roots in Christ, when the storms of ministry come you will be “blown right out of your shorts”.  Ministry is not easy.  When the tree falls, when the leaders collapse people are deeply injured.  The impact of the Gospel is injured.  Our witness is compromised.  The problem is a spiritual formation problem, a character problem. 
It’s not glorifying to Jesus to pretend you are Jesus.  
Christ did the surgery.  We have to do the PT (which is the work of sanctification).

Holiness is humility.
Two truths of our reality:  we are dirt and we are breath (the spirit of God is in us).
Humility is being in touch with our earthiness: being down to earth. My primary vocation is to become a holy person.  In order to become a holy person I must be spiritually formed. 


My question for you, my dear readers, this week is 
how are your roots?  What is something you want to work on to grow deeper spiritual roots this week?

And Heather, thanks for giving me permission to share this tiny part of your story.  I love you, and I'm so glad you're in my life!


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