As I reflect on my week at RTS many thoughts come to mind. I feel very invigorated by being in an academic environment again. The reading, interactive lectures, and discussion with the other guys in the program was a very stimulating experience. To be honest, the class itself was not what I expected. I got a lot of good material, but the course suffered from a lack of cohesion. - as if i was choosing from a multi-ethnic buffet. all the dishes were tasty, but what was the theme?
Having said that, I am very excited about the the Doctor of Ministry program as a whole. I like the integration of the practical and the academic and I can see the program giving power and focus to my pastoral ministry. As I look over the courses offered, I am like a kid in a candy store! The doctoral dissertation is a question asking and problem solving research project with direct application to current and future ministry, and that sounds fascinating to me.
I will have to think hard about how to assimilate my current class learning into my current pastoral ministry (not to mention the perspectives from the abbey I am bringing with me). The integration papers will help and I should get on them ASAP. I think I will...
1. Go back through my notes and pull out the significant points.
2. Review the reading and do the same.
3. Organize these thoughts into a few major headings/spheres.
4. Begin a dialogue with our church family and get input on application and how we can move ahead as a community of faith.
5. Tie all of the above into what we all have been learning through this sabbatical experience.
6. Write the integration papers based on the shared vision and plan.
Hmm, that should be plenty to get started with!