The truth is, we are all deeply vulnerable down to the core of our beings. We may be strong, yet not as strong as someone else. We may be intelligent, but awkward with our hands. We may be lonely, anxious, over weight, or not as good looking as some others. We must all come to a place of acknowledging our vulnerability, and the awkwardness we feel in the presence of others and of God. But the challenge of ubiquitous human vulnerability can be turned to hope for the future of our society if we as Christians are willing to live into this particular truth of our shared humanity. Our very differences and imperfections have potential to bind us together, through hospitality, in God’s kingdom as agents of God’s loving grace.
Living with a disability is a reality for nearly 20 percent of the American population, affecting two of every seven families, and though eight of 10 people with disabilities state that they consider faith to be an important part of their lives, they also report they are very unlikely to attend religious services.
Recently, I took our church’s teens on our annual amusement park trip—a cornerstone event in all of my youth ministries. I have to admit it though, I do not like amusement parks. Now, I do like aspects of the park, but the reason most people are there is what I do not like. Nothing about roller coasters excites me. I do not like rides that offer a slow incline only to drop participants almost straight down with the encouragement to lift hands in the air while screaming. I do not enjoy corkscrew turns, riding upside down, or rides that take a person to the highest heights just to drop them from those heights in a matter of seconds. How was this ever dubbed as amusement?
After I had completed my Master of Divinity degree I engaged in many seminars, professional development events, spiritual life refreshments, and other ongoing educational opportunities. But I was "chomping at the bit" for something much more rigorous, a kind of personal and professional development that had real accountability and required authentic advancement.
The doctoral program at Northeastern Seminary provided all of that, and more, for me. I figured I was about three quarters of the way through my career as a pastor (making many assumptions, of course) and I did not want to just coast my way toward retirement. The entire experience was like having the third stage rocket boost me higher than I imagined possible.
My journey through the D.Min.program was marked by growing insight and motivation to strive for excellence for myself and those to whom I minister. In particular, the coursework and dissertation project enhanced my view on ministry in an urban African American community in five distinct ways.
A post by guest blogger, Glen Dornsife, M.Div. student at Northeastern Seminary:
A guest post by Nelson Grimm, director of field education and associate professor of applied theology
A post by guest blogger, Glen Dornsife, M.Div. student at Northeastern Seminary.
A post by guest blogger, Barbara Bushart, MDIV, MSW, adjunct professor at Northeastern Seminary.
A post by guest blogger, Todd Daningburg, adjunct professor at Northeastern Seminary.