Last month when I was back at college I took time to talk to one of the professors about further study. As it happens they have a program which is currently classified as a STM (Master of Sacred Theology) but is being rejigged as a DMin (Doctor of Ministry). Academically the requirements are the same but the reclassification recognizes that thsi program is intended to be taken while one is in active ministry and to feed on/into that ministry.
I have pondered going for further study at times. But the standard STM as an academic degree wasn't really what I was loking at (like who really wants to write a thesis?). I was thinking of something that woudl be a way to make more focussed use of my study leave time and would complement my daily ministry in a congregation. Mind you I have always known that if I went in for the more Traditional STM I would choose to focus my studies on doctrines of humanity and atonement since that is an area of interest (and because you simply cannot talk about what understandings of atonement are needed in the world today without talking about the nature of humanity and what is needed to help us re-learn that we are at-one with God).
In this other program I have lots of possible project ideas. If I were starting now I would like to do something on being the church in a world of social media and multimedia projectors and internet research etc. ANd that may be one that stays. In fact I am really tempted to do a paper later this year on the theological implications of using technology to prepare and present worship, with a focus on multi-media projectors --just for the chance to explore the topic.
But do I have the time or the cash at this point in my life cycle? I would not start for a couple years at any rate. The program is 3 years and I would time it to be finishing in a year when I am eligible for a sabbatical thus giving me time to finish writing up the results of whatever major project I undertake. But with 4 girls 10 and under? ANd a program that would require 2-3 weeks away for intensive courses each year (at a few hundred a pop) plus reading and work in-between?
Still it sounds REALLY tempting