Thursday, April 4, 2013

More Thoughts and Information on Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary

A week ago, I wrote this post about an interesting seminary program that I found.  Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary has developed a way to do the first year online, and in addition, the language requirement isn't the traditional Greek or Hebrew.

At the time I wrote last week, I still had questions.  I had made a phone call, but hadn't spoken to a human.  When I realized it was Holy Week, I suspected I wouldn't hear anything until after Easter.

Imagine my surprise when the phone rang just before we were about to head to Maundy Thursday service, and it was the associate dean on the line.  He was very kind.

He asked me about my candidacy committee, and I tried to explain why I didn't have one yet.  He didn't hang up in disgust.  I'm probably not the first person who has called for more information before getting very far along in the process.

He asked what synod I was in, and I said, "Florida-Bahamas."  He told me that my synod had been very flexible in the past.

I asked him how long one could stretch out one's first year.  He told me that the whole degree had to be finished in 7 years, and 2 years had to be done on campus and one year would be the internship year.  Suddenly, the timing of when to start the clock on this process seemed like an issue I shouldn't take casually.

He also pointed out that to be eligible for any kind of financial aid, including federal student loans, I'd need to be taking 2 classes a semester.  If I pay out of pocket, each course costs $1605.  I'm not as shocked as I thought I would be; I was under no illusions that I was talking to a statue university, after all.

I asked about letters of recommendation.  Should the one from a professor be one from my grad school professor or from undergrad?  He seemed to say that they didn't face that issue very often, but he thought it would be best to have someone who had worked with me most recently to write the letter.

Let me take a minute to shake my head over the fact that the last time I worked with one of my professors, it was 1992--yes, over 20 years ago.  Wow, the time has flown by!

I asked if I could start in the Spring instead of the Fall, and he said yes.  And then he told me what courses were planned for Fall 2013 and Spring 2014.

By that point, it was time to leave for Maundy Thursday service, and I couldn't think of any other questions, except for some of the more existential ones, like "What should I do with the 2nd half of my wondrous life?"  Or the more basic, "Am I going to regret this conversation?"

Tomorrow:  What to read, what to research, when one spends Holy Week thinking about the road that might be reaching to seminary.

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