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.
Obviously, when I say "yes" to a major opportunity like a doctoral program, I must say "no" to some or many other responsibilities that had accumulated in my career and life. Once those matters were put into a secondary level, and I could devote myself for three years to a concentrated advancement, it all flowed well. Rather than just try to carve out some time for a new book or a seminar, I validated the entire process by the program itself and all of the people in my life respected that. I worked carefully to gain the affirmation from my family and my church before engaging the program, and the rest came more easily.
What can you say “no” to in order to experience that “rocket boost?’
Myke Merrill, D.Min. ’07, presents and facilitates seminars and workshops on human actions and interactions based on how we function through our basic emotions. His dissertation, Five Basic Emotions: A New Systems Approach, is the basis for his work with organizations to develop teamwork, cultivate understanding among those in crisis, and enhance understanding within groups and organizations.