Thursday, June 18, 2009


What I really wanted was to study at SVOTS. But to what end? Canonical barriers keep me from ordination. Then there is the expense and the hardship on my family. So, that isn't going to happen.

If not theology at SVOTS then the next best thing is a masters degree in city planning from Berkley. It would have placed me right in the middle of the policy debates swarming around land use, city shrinkage (as in Detroit, Cleveland, Toledo, and Flint) and the New Urbanist movement. And as a pre-professional program it would have qualified me for a good paying job. But it was in Berkeley; far from where I live. Then I thought, if not the M.C.P from Berkeley why not the the technically equivalent M.U.P. degree from San Jose State, where the highly respected and vibrant Asha Argawal teaches. But, the idea of sitting in a classroom 4 hours each night, 4 nights per week, keeping me away from my family and managerial responsibilities prevented my attempting the M.U.P. program. (Though I did write a fun essay during the application process.)

So, no theology, and no residential programs. Were there any any distance City Planning programs? Yes. There is one. But WOW! What cost! It would have cost three times what the Berkeley degree would have cost. So, no master in city planning for me. I was very sad.

So, then I thought, why not just get an M.A.T. and teach social studies in public schools? So I looked into that. I found Western Governors University. I was all set to start, but California started laying off teachers. Thousands of them. And then there was the question of the teacher's unions, which I hate. But I was still going to go through with it, but they gave me grief over my foreign transcripts, AFTER I WAS ACCEPTED!!! Even though I have a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts which is ranked #45 in the WORLD by the Times (London) and enough American credit hours for 2 bachelors degrees, they wanted me to pay a third party to evaluate my 25 foreign credits. So, I thought to myself, "I don't think being a high school teacher is worth this hassle."

So what to do? Well, i don't know how I found it, but somehow I stumbled across American Military University. It was originally founded as a distance graduate school for military officers but has branched out since then. And guess what. They have a program in Ancient and Classical history. Now you might be wondering why I would want to study ancient history. Two reasons: I love the subject, and every college student in California has to take a course in it. What does that mean? It means when I finish the program I will be qualified to talk about Josephus, Herodotus, Livy, Plutarch, and Eusebius to my hearts content and get paid for it! Now get this, when I was a teenager I used to fantasize about studying western civilization and ancient history. I never thought I would have the opportunity or, if I did have the opportunity, that it would be practical.

I am astounded that at the end of a long line of academic compromises (even my undergraduate major was a compromise) I finally get to do something I really want to do. I start classes in August. God is really very kind to me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As far as theology, you'll do a lot better reading the fathers than going to seminary. I've done Lutheran seminary, St Stephen's program (Antiochian)for three years...and reading the fathers trumps them all by a long ways.

You can tailor it to whatever time you have, and it's heavenly treasure...the perfect thing for those of us living in world of death and spiritual sickness.