More News

I found out today that I have been accepted to the Ph.D. program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Trinity has also offered me a scholarship that comes with the privilege of working as an assistant to the department chair and maybe even giving lectures from time to time. It is not the biggest scholarship they offer, but it is something. In fact, it is something I did not expect. So far in my decision-making process, this situation rarely (if ever) entered my mind. Please pray that God would give us guidance as we assimilate this new information into the process of deciding which school to attend. Southern probably will not get back to me for at least another 1-3 weeks, but I have to operate on the assumption that I have been accepted, since Trinity requires a decision by April 1st. Both Trinity and Southern (and Dallas, for that matter, but I will go ahead and say that we have basically ruled it out) are excellent schools. Now it is a matter of weighing them against each other, with this scholarship factored into the equation.

In other news, still no baby yet. Joni is now at 38 weeks, and we are scheduled to see the doctor again on Thursday (unless we have to go to the hospital before then!).

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11 Responses to “More News”

  1. Doctor Clockwork Says:

    Wow! Congratulations on the acceptance and the scholarship. I will look forward to both the school decision and the new baby cousin to come.

  2. Myles Says:

    So much on the plate. Go to Trinity. Congrats.

  3. Dee Says:

    Congrats. In contrast to Myles, I say stay at Southern.

    Though, if you want to have a teaching career, it is probably better to get your terminal degree at another institution.

    On second thought, if you want to teach in a Southern Baptist setting, it looks good having both degrees from SBC schools.

    Oh, well. You’ll make a good choice either way because they are both good schools.

  4. Aaron Says:

    Thanks, guys, for your congratulations and advice.

    Dee, one of the questions I am facing right now is, “What DO I want to do with my life?” For some time now I have been leaning more toward teaching, though I can’t say for sure what kind of context I would prefer. I would love to teach at a Southern Baptist school, but I would also love to branch out beyond Southern Baptist circles as well if a good opportunity came up. Both options seem desirable to me, and in any case I don’t know that Southern has so much of an advantage over Trinity in terms of providing opportunities in the Southern Baptist world. After all, several SBTS professors are Trinity graduates, including two in the systematic theology department. Furthermore, I know a recent Trinity graduate was just hired at Southwestern.

    It has been an agonizing couple of days. I know I will find the answer on my knees, and when I do, I won’t look back.

    It would be really great for Joni to go into labor right about now so I could direct my mind to something else!

  5. Dee Says:

    Aaron,

    I will certainly pray for your decision and I will also pray that Joni will go into labor soon!

  6. iconoclasm Says:

    Congratulations. I would say it’s better to get a diversity of thought academically. That is, as long as it is the right thought.

  7. The Table Guy Says:

    Congratulations Aaron! That’s big!

    My two cents: staying at southern will give you consitency in your life situation: church, friends, other jobs, social stuff, etc. If you and Joni are looking for this right now, it’s a good choice.

    Otherwise, go to Trinity. You’re right, it’s not going to hurt you in getting a job at an SBC school. You could just about go anywhere for your Phd now that you’ve gone to Southern and its not going to hurt you. (in my oppinion)

    Diversity keeps your scholarship from being completely inbread.

    Peace brotha. I’ll say a prayer for you and Joni today.

  8. Myles Says:

    i’ll echo everything Jason said. Trinity will give you a non-SBC tag on your card, which is good if you want to teach somewhere that’s a non-SBC affiliated place. At the bottom, from my own agony of choosing what to do, you have to trust. You have to trust that God is God and is Providence and guides us home. As I watched other friends go other places, I had to remind myself of that over and over, that God has caught us up and is at hand.

    The experience of living and working in Chicago can only benefit you. As to the continuity of friends, you’re in an academic town–and get used to this now–people leave all the time. Even because I wound up staying in Waco, every year, there’s another round of really hard goodbyes to be said as other people don’t stay. Don’t let that be a consideration. Seriously. The friendships and life you have with others, if it is true, will not be broken by space.

    And so, my vote’s for Trinity. It’s got more to offer than Southern, and it’s evangelical in the wider context, which will be good for anyone.

  9. Aaron Says:

    Myles, you don’t realize how much your words resonate with my Calvinistic perspective (that may be to your chagrin, but even though we don’t agree on the particulars of how it works, we do both agree that God is in control, and that his plans ultimately prevail). You are exactly right: it is about trusting God. I took comfort from reading a devotional selection from John Piper last night, where he discussed four ways that God guides us:

    1. Decree: God’s decrees are from all eternity and are irreversible; they always come to pass. Of course, this is where Piper’s Calvinism shines through, and though I know not all of my readers agree with it, I certainly do. I find deep comfort that no matter what happens, God has purposed from all eternity to bring it to pass according to his sovereign plan, which is for our good (Rom 8:28).

    2. Direction: The commands and teachings of the Bible.

    3. Discernment: To quote Piper, “Most of the decisions we make are not spelled out specifically in the Bible. Discernment is how we follow God’s leading through the process of spiritually sensitive application of biblical truth to the specifics of our situation.”

    4. Declaration: God simply declares to us what to do (as in the case of Philip’s experiences in Acts 8:26, 29).

    Of course, the rub comes at number 3 and (possibly for some) at number 4. But I am thankful that even if we mess up on our part of the equation, you can’t mess with number 1 (the decrees). That gives me a sense of confidence and trust in the midst of uncertainty. One of the emerging joys of this experience is that I am realizing anew how small and incapable I am to manage my own life. I can only respond in faith to the call of God, which so often seems like foolishness to the world. A wise friend recently pointed me to Eugene Peterson’s distinction between “career” (a man-centered attempt to micro-manage the stages of one’s life for personal advancement) and “vocation” (responding to the sovereign initiative of God even in the midst of uncertainty).

    Thanks again, everyone, for your advice. There is much wisdom here. I have a clear preference at this point, but I am going to let it ferment in my mind for a few more days before I make the final decision. I know how fickle I can be, so one of the tests I am applying to this decision is whether or not I can stick with a clear preference for any length of time.

  10. The Table Guy Says:

    News Travels Fast!

    Congratulations to the new parents!

  11. Myles Says:

    i guess this means we have a baby! congrats!

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