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As an employee of a Christian organization, I see formal theological training as an essential element to furthering my growth both as an employee and as a Christian. Criswell College’s online MACS program comes as an answer to prayer and as a practical solution to position myself for future ministry. Furthering my formal education at Criswell excites me for many reasons. These reasons are not just personal but professional and practical as well.

On a personal level, this degree will further develop my knowledge of God and ministry. I fully believe we are called to be lifelong learners. We should never stop learning, both academically and experientially. When I was awakened to the depth of my sin as a child and saved by God’s grace through trusting in Him as my savior, I started a journey to know God more not just with head knowledge but with heart knowledge. But over the past decade I have become more aware of how those two are related for me personally. Heart knowledge is increased and fueled through my head knowledge. Learning more about God has led to a fuller understanding of the greatness of God and what he has done in my life. I look forward to growing in both the knowledge of and the affection for my Savior.

As for the professional benefits of this degree program, I see this as an opportunity to secure formal theological training that will allow me to do more here at LifeWay or to even join a church staff in an administrative or support role in the future. While I currently do not foresee this degree leading me to a position of pastoral ministry, I’m not ruling it out entirely. I have always felt my role to be supportive in nature. But a formal training in Christian studies would open up a door to so many new opportunities, I can’t help but be excited about how God could use me in the future.

Finally, on a practical level, this time of study will force me to develop improved organizational habits, Bible study habits, and writing skills. I rely a great deal on memory for organization right now. This is something I am aware of and am working diligently to improve. I have developed a system of organization that will allow me to stay on track with school while working full time and am excited to see how it can benefit me in other areas of my life. Regular, challenging Bible study will benefit for me personally as a dad, husband, employee, and church member. Anytime we look into the Scripture, for whatever reason it may be, will only help grow our faith. Required writing benefits me by helping me in my job where I can be called on at a moment’s notice to assist in penning an article for a major publication. Being in the habit of writing will make me a better communicator and employee.

I never thought I would be pursuing more formal education when I finished my first master’s degree, but I am more excited about this endeavor than any other in quite some time. I look forward to learning personally, professionally, and practically from my time at Criswell. And I will be honored to be called a Criswell graduate and carry its banner into the world for Christ.

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