Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : September 1, 2004

Today around noon, I take the dreaded GRE. I’m not looking forward to it at all; I hardly studied. It sucks that the possibility of me doing a PhD is dependent upon me taking this test.

But I have to take it. Tis my fate. I’m planning on applying this year to Luther Seminary. I know that Luther Seminary isn’t usually on the top ten list of many wannabe theologians, but it really comes down to either Luther or Princeton (since they both have missional ecclesiology programs headed by “Gospel and Our Culture Network” folk).

Luther’s program is the brainchild of Craig Van Gelder.

I really want to go on to a PhD after finishing up at Bethel Seminary, but I’m a little scared. I feel like I don’t have enough time to do a church plant right, let alone do a PhD on top of that. I’ve had some experience trying to juggle seminary and church planting, but I’m assuming that a PhD will take alot more out of me.

Why even try to do both? That is a question I ask myself. Yet I feel pulled in both the direction of the practitioner, and the direction of the thinker. Part of the problem with the Church is that people don’t try to do both. We don’t have people to bridge the best of ministry practice and the best of Christian scholarship. And thus the gap widens. Perhaps that is why church leaders look to business models to help in the shaping of the church–there is less of a learning curve, and the results are more predictable.

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