“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? / The world would split open.”
Poet Muriel Rukeyser

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Reflections on Chrysallis: Part 4

I had the opportunity to stay on campus at the seminary between Friday night and Saturday but I chose to commute. I lived about an hour away and had small children so it was really good to be home with my family in the evening. On Saturday I returned early in the morning. I really don't remember much about that day, with the exception one primary event. But before that happened I somehow ended up in a classroom in a small group discussion about ordained ministry to the priesthood. I was clearly thinking seriously about this. Not that I was certain about it, but I was giving it a lot of thought. In retrospect I can easily see that I was being led toward ordination, it was really me, not God, who was hesitant.

After that small group conversation the seminary had a variety of tables set up in the hall. These tables offered materials on various ministries and people to talk about them. I found myself talking for a long while with PK (no, not my blogger friend, but a member of the seminary registration staff). Then I found myself talking to TS, a professor at the seminary, who was a proponent of lay ministries. In my conversation I told him my basic vision of ministry: hospital chaplaincy, dual degree, still pondering lay or ordained. Then I said, "I would really like to do the dual degree through this seminary but I've been told you can't do it. So, I think I'll enroll at the seminary across the street but take most of my classes here."

He said, "Really? We can't do this?" Then he turned to PB, the Dean of Students and said, "PB, we can organize a dual degree M.Div./MSW, can't we?" She said, "I don't see why not. Let me talk to the Dean."

And the rest is history.

I started seminary in the fall of 1995 enrolled at the seminary as a dual degree student. I was also accepted at the Jesuit school in their Graduate School of Social Work, which I would begin the following year. I would go to the seminary for one year, the social work school the next, and so on, for four years. My electives in each degree would be fulfilled by course work from the other degree. I was really excited to be attending the seminary of my choice, my denomination.

Anyone who has embarked on this journey knows that getting into school is only the beginning. Especially if you start seminary before you have discerned a call to ordination and received the blessing of the Bishop....