Monday, March 21, 2011

Princeton

After what seems like a lifetime of questioning and planning, I have officially decided to accept an offer of admission to the Masters of Divinity (M.Div) program at Princeton Theological Seminary this fall. I am relieved that the decision-making process is finally over. Obviously, I am very disappointed that I will not be attending the University of Aberdeen. While I would like nothing more than to move to beautiful Scotland and work under the supervision of scholars like John Webster, the M.Div at PTS makes more sense for me at this time. I came home to Philadelphia this past weekend and had serious discussions with my parents about this decision. It became clear that despite the many positives about Aberdeen, PTS works better not only for me, but for my entire family. My parents have been encouraging me to live on-campus in an apartment next year instead of living at home and commuting. When I voiced concerns about saving money, they graciously offered to help me financially in this area. I am continually humbled by the faithfulness of God that sustains me in every way, including financially, as I seek to be obedient to the privilege of serving Him through higher academia. Apart from the obvious advantages of PTS (the Center for Karl Barth studies, the libraries, endless bookstores, aesthetic of the town, access to Princeton University), I am thrilled to study in a place that offers theological diversity. Even though I wouldn't trade my education at Gordon-Conwell for anything, I believe that the classes I took at Harvard Divinity were the most beneficial and challenging experiences that I've ever had during my graduate education. I realize that PTS is not as diverse as a place like Harvard Divinity (though some might make the case that it is less diverse than PTS), it will still offer a level of exposure to a variety of perspectives that I have not had through my largely evangelical education. I'd like to officially say that I am very grateful to the number of current students at both PTS and Aberdeen who have taken the time to converse with me about this decision. I am encouraged by the number of theology students in the Church and look forward to witnessing the Lord continually guide us all as we seek to order our speech after the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In short, I am excited about this next step!

14 comments:

W. Travis McMaken said...

You might have mentioned a strong theo-blogger contingent among PTS' strengths. ;-) Glad to hear you'll be coming to town, although I hope I won't be here to see it (coincidently, I probably will be).

Darren said...

Congratulations, Kait! As a recent alum of PTS and a current student in Aberdeen, I think it would have been hard for you to go wrong either way. But PTS will be great for its location, financial viability, diversity, and the breadth and depth of the education. It pushed me out of my comfort zones (which I recommend), and also let me have a whole lot of fun taking theology electives.

I'll be following your blog and eager to hear how things go for you!

Justin said...

Good news Kait - glad to hear you've comfortably reached a decision. We'll miss you at Aberdeen, but I'm sure we'll all see each other at nearly every theological conference for the rest of our lives.

Best of luck at PTS!

Kevin Davis said...

Congrats.

I too decided to do an M.Div., but I'm actually looking for a more specifically evangelical program, so I applied to TEDS, Beeson, and RTS Charlotte. I wanted a school with close relations to a specific ecclesial context (in my case, the American evangelical context). PTS, as you are aware, has rather close relations to the American church as well, namely the PCUSA. I probably would have applied to a more diverse school like PTS except that I feel like I've got that fairly well-covered (at the University of North Carolina and the University of Aberdeen). I did love the challenge I received at those schools, but my concerns are more intra-evangelical these days.

Just curious, are you planning on ordination? Which denomination? Or is this a stepping-stone toward a Phd?

Good luck and all blessings!

Kait Dugan said...

Thanks, all! I really wish that Aberdeen would have happened, but for a variety of reasons, I have chosen PTS for now.

Justin - Will you be at AAR this year in CA?

Kevin - Great decision on the M.Div! I hope that works out well for you wherever you decide to go. I am pursuing ordination, but as a permanent deacon, not for the presbyter through the Anglican Church (ACNA). But I also want to teach theology in the university setting. So a PhD is also a necessary requirement. I'd like to always keep one foot firmly and tangibly both in the Church and the academy.

David W. Congdon said...

Congrats, Kait! I think you'll enjoy your time at PTS. It'll be nice to finally meet you. I look forward to seeing you in the fall.

Darren said...

Oh, I forgot to mention: Watch out for ^ THIS GUY ^

;)

AJMoyse said...

Congratulations, Kait. You don't know me but I too had to wade through a number of offers including Edinburgh, Marquette, etc. I ended up deciding on Newcastle so as to work with John McDowell. Though the lure of Scotland was difficult to pass up--let alone the prestige of Edinburgh's New College! Though, since it was McDowell I wanted to study with at Edinburgh, it made sense to follow him to Newcastle (Aus). I know that your decision to take a seat at PTS will be a good one! Enjoy the journey.

signonthewindow said...

Hmm. I thought I published this comment but I guess not. Anyway, congrats from me as well. I spent a year before doing my MA at Duke taking a few classes at GCTS. Look forward to welcoming you to PTS. Are you going to try and enter as a Middler? That's what I did. Shoot me an email if you want to talk about that option, or have any other questions.

Brian Gronewoller said...

This is great, Kaitlyn! I'm so glad that you finally know exactly where you'll be next year. If we end up in Philadelphia, we'll have to have you over for a home cooked meal (and edifying theological discourse!).

Kait Dugan said...

AJ - Thanks! I've officially subscribed to your blog. I hope things continue to go well for you in your studies!

signonthewindow - thanks so much for your offer. I would really appreciate any help/insight/advice you might be able to give, especially about coming in as a "middler." What is your e-mail address?

Brian - Thanks, my friend. I will definitely take you up on that offer. Keep me posted about Philadelphia. I'm excited you are blogging now. Btw, I'm coming back to classes at HDS next week - can't wait for Jordan's lectures on Anselm and Aquinas!

Darren said...

The Middler idea is a good one, since you'll already have a master's-level degree. I had a couple of friends who did that, and spent three years having everyone and their aunt asking me why I didn't.

If not: What I did was advanced standing, meaning I passed out of most of the 101-level requirements and freed up more credits for electives. It was just a lot of hoops to jump through, since each department asks to see your transcripts (and in some cases, past syllabi) to see what you have and haven't already had exposure to.

signonthewindow said...

melissa (dot) florerbixler (at) gmail (dot) com

Justin said...

Oops - forgot to follow up with the comments. Not sure if I'll be at AAR this year. Uncharacteristically, I didn't submit an abstract in the hopes of focusing on my thesis - but if I do end up coming, I'll be sure to catch you at the Barth meeting or something. In the meantime, I wish you the best and hope you enjoy your last few remaining months as a non-post-metaphysical actualist!

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