While I had just come back to faith and was starting to grow in my home church, First Baptist Church Murfreesboro, I had never envisioned going to seminary. In need of spiritual growth and understanding, everything pointed me in that direction; however, our family is a single income family with four children. My job was crucial and I could not see how I could possibly attend seminary.
Just when I thought that there was no hope, I was surprised by a flyer about a seminary that would be housed in my church. I found out that classes would be done in intensives on Friday night and Saturday and that the tuition was subsidized through the generosity of grants. I finally got it all together and started my seminary journey at Central Baptist Theological Seminary - Tennessee.
This format allowed me to complete my degree without missing any work or taking too much time away from my family. At the same time, I was able to develop an understanding of how to apply the skills from seminary to my sense of calling as a marketplace minister and allowed me to find ways to execute this ministry. After completion of seminary, my home church ordained me and blessed me in this calling.
I am extremely grateful for Central for the work it has done in my life by providing a thought provoking broad theological education.
A Student’s Testimony: Leadership Coaching in DMin Program
I am thankful that Central Baptist Theological Seminary has included coaching as an ongoing element in its D.Min. program. It provides a unique opportunity for incorporation of fresh learnings with ongoing ministry. At a very personal level I have found the coaching relationship to be a genuine gift. As the opportunities and challenges of ministry consistently draw my focus outward, the coaching relationship offers unique and appropriate occasions for intentional reflection. Through thoughtful listening and gentle inquiry my coach provides a safe space for self-analysis and discovery.
After more than 30 years of pastoral ministry I have discovered that it is easy to fall into predictable patterns of behavior and response. Even as many of those patterns have proven to be beneficial, it is refreshing to step aside and see them in light of new situations and challenges. My coach has encouraged me to think again about some of those basic issues of my calling, commitment and giftedness. In light of fresh challenges that inevitably come from new circumstances and perspectives gained from decades of ministry, it has been good to renegotiate some of those fundamental pathways. The future has a different sort of appeal at age 60 than it did at age 30. The professional coaching provided by Central Seminary has encouraged me to regularly step aside from daily concerns and intentionally look forward to an every changing future.