In the last week I have been accepted into the newly made Master’s of Divinity in Chaplaincy program at my school.
I can hear God laughing.
You see, I’m very excited about the new program and I have the knowledge that this will be extremely helpful in my career. But, I was SO close to graduating with my Master’s of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS). So close! I could see the finish line.
Now…that finish line is yet another year away.
It’s a blessing that this program is even being offered- especially before I graduate, thus causing me to have to pay for a whole new degree, rather than just switching and adding a couple more classes. Which, believe me, graduating THEN finding out about the new program? That would have so depressing and annoying.
Even the idea of the program being offered while I was still here in school? Totally a God thing.
I had started out my Seminary career as a Master’s of Divinity in Pastoral Studies (M.Div) with an emphasis on Chaplaincy student, but had to change programs midway through the first semester. My arch nemesis, i. e. the Greek language, was winning the battle.
God gave me a little bit of hard earned clarity during that semester. When two professors come to talk to you, at different times in the same day, without discussing it; to tell you to get out of Greek now, you listen.
Both professors, one of them being my Greek teacher, told me to get out while the getting was good. My stubbornness was starting to bring down my grades in my other classes. Because I was so stressed out and working so hard to finish my Greek homework, my other classes were bearing the brunt of it.
So, with a disheartened attitude I withdrew from the class and changed my program.
While technically the MAPS program is a better program for the Chaplain training, hospitals prefer the M.Div. If two people were applying for the same degree, most hospitals choose the M.Div. Even though the MAPS is technically better due to all the counseling classes (The language requirement for the M.Div shows perseverance supposedly).
I started to question my understanding of God’s will for my life. I started to question if I was reading His leading right. So many questions that I struggled with that first year! I loved the classes I was attending, classes that I wouldn’t have been able to go to in the M.Div., but still, I wondered.
Now, a total of three years later, I am at the end of my MAPS program and just needing to do my internship. And God shows me the course correction that I was unaware of. So many things lined up when they shouldn’t have! All because God has his hands on my life.
• I came in on the Advanced Track- I should have graduated within 2 years.
• I had to stay full time, but classes I needed weren’t being held until a different semester, than the one I was presently on.
• Classes that I took as electives- to stay full time- worked perfectly into my new M.Div Chaplaincy program.
• The very fact that because it took me 3 years to finish a 2 year program, I am still in a place to do the new degree.
• The fact that a professor mentioned it in passing.
• That it had just been passed through committee and they were allowing people to switch that very day.
• That I was accepted into the program so quickly and easily.
Because I had allowed God to steer my life as He saw fit, He lined everything up for me. Even though I was still disheartened over not getting the M.Div I thought I had to have, he was guiding me to something so much better!
He knew the plans He had for me. He kept me from so much stress and heartache, as well as failure, so that I would be ready for His next step.
How amazing is my God?!
I’m eager to see where this new M. Div will take me, I’m eager to learn and put into practice what I’m learning.
I can make it one more year to stay in accordance with God’s plan for me. This is what I was waiting for. These where the signs that I needed to have my eyes opened.
God gave me what I thought I needed, but the way I needed it.
And the best thing?
The new Master’s of Divinity for Chaplaincy doesn’t have Greek!