Becoming Colleagues

Friday, Mar 22nd, 2013

            Gift giving is a part of this culture, and the MIT cohort did not disappoint!  The doctoral students presented a beautiful map of Myanmar, with the various states demarcated by finely ground and colorful gemstones.  We will hang it in a prominent place at the Shawnee campus to remind us of the far reaches from whence our students come; it will also invite us to pray for them.    

Gift from MIT students

            At noon on Friday we concluded our course on Incarnational Theology.  We have probed how the Word continues to be made flesh as church leaders and congregations put into practice the ways of Christ, empowered by the Spirit, to the glory of God.  Ministry must be incarnational, and God’s mission is embodied in human form—through Christ and his body.

Dr. Marshall shows gift from MIT students

            As participants presented case studies drawn from their ministry contexts, we were all struck by common pastoral tasks and identity. Relationships with deacons, clergy salaries, prophetic preaching, conflict over worship styles, marriage ceremonies, church and state issues, to mention only a few.  It was a great joy for me to observe the shared wisdom in this collegial interchange.  Laughter often erupted as we realized that churches everywhere face similar challenges.

DMin students together at MIT

            Central faculty and staff have learned a great deal about how to facilitate this collaborative Doctor of Ministry degree in a more expedient way.  Having Steve Guinn, Assistant to the Dean and Registrar, as well as Vance Thomas, Director of the Library, as a part of the Central team has been invaluable.  Called “the experts” by our MIT hosts, they have been assessing systems and resources, considering ways to strengthen the program.  Besides, they are just good guys to have around!

            Friday evening we begin our long journey back to the US, trusting that travel will go smoothly.  All are eager to see loved ones and to eat a little less rice!

            I will be staying in Seoul for another four days and am eager to enter another Asian culture.  It will be my first visit to South Korea, and I look forward to worshipping on Palm Sunday with a large congregation.  With Dr. Rock Choi as my interpreter, I will be preaching in three services.  I give thanks for this rare opportunity to learn of the vibrancy of Christian witness there.

            Molly T. Marshall

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