Wow. I remember seeing my first alley. I'd read about them in books, but when you live in little towns in Iowa, that's not really a prevalent part of the landscape. I was probably twelve. We'd just moved to Sigourney and I walked to the Coast to Coast store on the square. When I walked past the alley, I looked at it and remembered stories about terrible things that happened in dark alleys. It took a few more weeks for me to understand that nothing much was going to happen there. (sorry, about that ... a memory came flying at me and I had to let it out!)
Anyway. Since we moved on a regular basis, I was forced to become comfortable with meeting new groups of people and entering into new experiences. Over the years, I believe that I come to love that.
This week, I make another of those changes. I'm leaving the program at Asbury and moving to Grand Canyon University (online). Some of my credits will transfer, and the rest will wait until I decide whether or not a Master's of Divinity degree is something I really want. Since so many of my fellow classmates are firmly on a path which leads to ministry and I'm not, I've begun to feel a little out of place.
The Master's of Arts in Christian Studies with an Emphasis in Leadership program at GCU is exciting! Over the last month or so, I have spoken with incredible people there as we've worked together to get things transferred and moving. The school has 30,000 students, most of them online. They are structured to work as an online program and so far, their organization has been seamless. Ken Blanchard, a management expert (author of The One Minute Manager), has his name on their school of business. That excites me. His books on leadership are inspiring and motivate me to get moving.
In the fall of 2009, I took two courses online through the University of Phoenix to assure myself I could still learn in a structured situation. In the fall of 2010, I entered seminary and discovered I could still do a kick-ass (that seems like such an unsightly phrase to use here ... oh well) job of making my way through heavy course loads. Now, in 2012, my heart is set on finishing a program. I'll finish in just over a year (or less, if I can talk them into letting me work through the courses faster than they presently have me scheduled).
The best part will be the fact that I can focus on one class at a time and it will also give me time during the day to focus on some other things that I'm desperate to get going.
Change? Yes. I love it.