That’s right; it’s true; your eyes do not deceive you; this adorable (and unintentionally gigantic) google calendar graphic is indeed correct…
I’m going back to school!!!!!
To be even more accurate, I’m actually going back to school TODAY, because this is the official start date for Human Personality, the online course I’ll be taking this semester. Of course it’s not quite the same as doing a residential/on site program (to wit, I’m about to watch my first lecture while sitting on the couch in my PJs), but it is school, the course is for credit (ie. I actually have deadlines, assignments, and a final exam), and I haven’t been a student for a loooooong time, so I think it’s an accurate description.
The nutshell version is this: I’m doing some additional training in biblical counseling online through a school in the States, hoping to work towards a master’s degree eventually. This term I’m taking just one course but the plan is to enroll in a full course load come January. I’m hoping to submit my application for the degree program before Christmas, and so hopefully next fall I will officially be a grad student. (Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!)
And here’s the slightly more complicated and comprehensive version: Towards the end of the summer we found out about a brand new Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) that is offered entirely online. I’ve long been passionate about biblical counseling* and so the MAC program seems like a perfect fit for me. Although I’ve never had a desire to pursue further studies (quite the opposite in fact, as I practically fled hotfoot from university the moment I could escape with diploma in hand!), I’ve been won over by the intensely practical nature of these courses and the opportunity to study topics about which I am truly passionate under professors with unparalleled experience, insight, and biblical wisdom. Basically, I have done a complete 180 in my thinking and I now have all the heart eyes for the thought of grad school! 😍 😍 😍
The MAC launches in September 2017 (so that’s next September) and will be offered at Westminster Theological Seminary (WTS), in partnership with CCEF, the school from which I’m currently taking courses. Well, a course, for now. But wait, why am I taking a course right now if the MAC doesn’t start until next year? Because clearly I can’t do anything in a straightforward manner. Because to reduce costs (the price per course is significantly lower at CCEF) and to get a head start on your degree, any CCEF courses taken before September 2017 can become transfer credits for the MAC. Thus, my plan to take a full course load next term, and hopefully in the summer as well. (Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!)
Of course there’s no guarantee I will actually be accepted into the MAC program to begin with (hopefully we will know that by late this year or early next year, as I am aiming to submit my application fairly soon), but if not I will probably continue with a few more courses to complete a certificate at CCEF. True, it won’t be a degree, but much of the learning will be the same (I will be missing some courses in biblical studies, but the counseling aspect will be fully covered) and the whole point of this is to mature and develop greater skill as a biblical counselor, not add more initials after my name.
Honestly, it all feels a little surreal still (a feeling I’m sure will quickly dwindle into something more akin to panic and “what have I gotten myself into?” when I start my first lecture, in approximately 10 minutes…) and of course there are the usual nerves and jitters that always accompany a new experience (at least for me, devote lover of routine and familiarity), but I’m mostly really excited for what I will be learning, not least about myself, and for where the path from here might lead.
Guys, I’M GOING BACK TO SCHOOL!!!!!!!!
*Wondering about the difference between biblical counseling and Christian counseling? The terms are often used interchangeably but they actually mean quite different things. (Don’t worry, I used to think they were the same as well!) If you’re interested in learning more I’d love to chat sometime! 🙂