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Alternative degrees for pastors? Alternative forms of education?


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Ds17 was always a math/science focused person. He completed College Chemistry 3 and Calculus 2 before he was 17yo. This past year, he has decided to become a pastor. He left the math/science behind and has focused this year on taking college classes that will transfer into Bible college instead. He can have his associates this summer if he wants it, in general studies from a local public college. (general studies because his math/science classes plus the Bible College transferable credits his working on, leaves him with a large mish-mash of credits.) Then he can start at Multnomah Bible College in the fall.

 

I would really like for him to wait a year before bible college. He will be 17 when he starts and will have his M. Div at about 23yo. Ds is very mature but still only has the experiences of a 17yo. He is already active in the church and does everything you would expect an older person considering Bible college to do. He volunteers, leads groups, works etc. He has all the recommendations from his pastors to start college and I have no doubt that he will succeed.

 

But....I think he needs to have more experiences under his hat before he starts Bible College. I keep talking to him about "broadening his foundation" and "you will only get out of college, what you can put into it". I think I am getting through to him and he is open to alternative ideas. The other day we talked a bit about alternative associates degrees that he can get, while he waits a year. Music, counseling, teaching are all natural choices....another idea is an extended missions trip (he is planning 2 weeks in Haiti this summer).

 

Do you have any input for him? Any ideas? He has led a pretty simple life and has never really wanted for anything.

 

ETA: feel free to say, what you honestly feel here. I promise I don't offend easily.

Edited by Tap, tap, tap
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I would urge him to think about a different degree than a BA in Bible.

 

If he were to go to a non-Bible college and continue to pursue science, he will meet many more different kinds of people than he will meet at a Bible college. This interaction with different kinds of people will pay off in the long run. It sounds to me that if were to only attend Bible college, he will be surrounding himself with just people who "think Bible" all the time (which I would love to do for myself - it just isn't pratical) - in other words he would be in a Bible-bubble.

 

It may be necessary at some point that he have a "tent-making" job for his financial support at the same time he ministers. A non-Bible degree can help for that.

 

The MDiv doesn't require a Bible major for the undergraduate; I can only think that a more broad foundation can only help.

 

He sounds like a great person.

Best wishes.

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My friend is getting an MDiv with a bachelors in physics. I woudl highly suggest a 4 year degree at a university, THEN go to seminary to get an MDiv. That will give him a few more years to mature, and more experiences. Many public universities have religion programs (I majored in Religion at Florida State University), but he could also get liberal arts degree, counselling, anthropology, social work, languages, etc.

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But....I think he needs to have more experiences under his hat before he starts Bible College. I keep talking to him about "broadening his foundation" and "you will only get out of college, what you can put into it". I think I am getting through to him and he is open to alternative ideas. The other day we talked a bit about alternative associates degrees that he can get, while he waits a year. Music, counseling, teaching are all natural choices....another idea is an extended missions trip (he is planning 2 weeks in Haiti this summer).

 

Do you have any input for him? Any ideas? He has led a pretty simple life and has never really wanted for anything.

 

I would like to share my experience with you. It may or may not be relevant to your son. Our church recently changed to a 20 year-old married man with one child as pastor.

 

The young man was kind-hearted, humble, knew the Bible well, and went through a 2 year Bible college program. He located a full-time job, and only received a housing allowance from the church. He was recommended by "everyone," and the church was very excited to have him take over for the pastor (who was also well loved but moved away).

 

Within a year, the new pastor had alienated almost every person in the congregation and had really hurt a lot of people-especially the young, under 20 crowd. All but one family left the church. I don't think he did any of it on purpose; he became a heavy-handed, my-way-or-the-highway guy.

 

Here is what I think went wrong. He was a novice (I Timothy 3:6) . He was tempted by the housing allowance, and bought a large house (that he is now desperately trying to 'short sell'). The Biblical qualifications of a pastor are lengthy. I'm sure that there are many, many, many young pastors who do wonderful things, but I think they are the exception. The books of I and II Timothy are weighty and make me thankful my husband hasn't ever been in church leadership.

 

I would study Rehoboam in I Kings 11 and 12, if he dedices to go ahead, so he can avoid the same mistakes. He will need someone in his life who will be brutally (and I do mean BRUTALLY) honest with him, and can tell him if they see him getting burned-out, wanting more money, or becoming prideful. It seems like these are the main pitfalls in the Bible for a leader. I think younger leaders need more oversight than older leaders. I hope that's not offensive, but it seems like the first years of any vocation are the most intense and difficult.

 

Our story turned out sad, but yours doesn't have to. We ended up leaving the church we had attended for 12 years....not really by choice, even though things weren't going well, we were willing to stay. I can PM you about the details, if you are curious. At any rate, it's a serious thing to consider. And, several of the young people the pastor alienated have developed hardened hearts towards God. I don't think the pastor is responsible for how they react to him...really, they need to get over it and understand nobody is perfect....but the leadership of a church shouldn't make it harder to be a Christian.

 

Best wishes to you and your son! I sincerely pray that he will discern God's will for his life. :grouphug: It really thrills my soul to hear of young people heeding God's call in their lives.

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Additionally, the bad economy has hit most churches, too. It makes you a more attractive person to fill a position if you have extra qualifications.

 

That is part of why I am asking. What degree can translate in to $$ as a career and will also augment his faith based studies?

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If I understand Multnomah correctly, this isn't a seminary that leads to an MDiv, correct? So he wouldn't need an undergrad degree.

 

There is a young man I know who is heading toward being a pastor, but his heart is to be flexible to work in church plants, struggling small churches, or wherever, so he is first getting a 2-year RN so that he has a higher likelihood of being employable pretty much anywhere. My dh is an RN who works 12 hour shifts and we've talked about how well that would work for the young man in question - he could work 3 7am-7pm day shifts, have a full time salary, and still have large chunks of time for a ministry (or 2 12's).

 

Not that being an RN is for everyone :) but a flexible, in-demand job seems like a great add-on to a pastorate if one isn't headed to a denomination that has the typical seminary route.

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That is part of why I am asking. What degree can translate in to $$ as a career and will also augment his faith based studies?

 

 

Pretty much anything. I know pastors who are nurses, car salesmen, carpenters, sheriffs, teachers, etc.

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my only real advice and opinion is that he should attend an accredited university. other than that, let him talk to a few pastors in the different fields he is considering (senior pastor? worship pastor? christian counselor?) and get their advice. it would be wise to have him meet with a few people in the field he is pursuing to get some insight.

 

ETA - my husband is a worship pastor. his degree is in entertainment technology.

Edited by mytwomonkeys
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But....I think he needs to have more experiences under his hat before he starts Bible College. I keep talking to him about "broadening his foundation" and "you will only get out of college, what you can put into it".

 

something else i was thinking...

 

college isn't really where he will get the experience. he will definitely get an education, but the real experience in being a pastor will occur when he has the position and is on staff. being a volunteer and being on staff are night and day differences imo. i imagine he would start off as an associate or assistant pastor somewhere & definitely won't be flying solo (he'd have mentorship from a pastor, or a team of pastors depending on the size of the church, ykwim?). my only point is, even if he pursues this path now and is ready to apply for a position at age 23, he could apply for something as an assistant pastor and still be in the mentor stage. also, he would go through an internship i'm sure - that usually last a year or more.

Edited by mytwomonkeys
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I would urge him to think about a different degree than a BA in Bible.

 

If he were to go to a non-Bible college and continue to pursue science, he will meet many more different kinds of people than he will meet at a Bible college. This interaction with different kinds of people will pay off in the long run. It sounds to me that if were to only attend Bible college, he will be surrounding himself with just people who "think Bible" all the time (which I would love to do for myself - it just isn't pratical) - in other words he would be in a Bible-bubble.

 

It may be necessary at some point that he have a "tent-making" job for his financial support at the same time he ministers. A non-Bible degree can help for that.

 

The MDiv doesn't require a Bible major for the undergraduate; I can only think that a more broad foundation can only help.

 

He sounds like a great person.

Best wishes.

 

:iagree:

 

I went to a Christian high school after years in public school. After high school I went to a secular university. I also worked in religious publishing for seven years. I found that, while I had a warm, positive, wonderful high school experience, the Christian subculture can be ingrown and emotionally claustrophobic at times. I also found that when Christians spend the bulk of their time in that subculture, their perceptions of non-Christians can become skewed and wildly inaccurate.

 

I do think most churches will want their pastor to have an MDiv. However, I think it's the wise pastor who makes sure to live in the non-religious world enough to know and understand those who believe differently.

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my only real advice and opinion is that he should attend an accredited university. other than that, let him talk to a few pastors in the different fields he is considering (senior pastor? worship pastor? christian counselor?) and get their advice. it would be wise to have him meet with a few people in the field he is pursuing to get some insight.

 

ETA - my husband is a worship pastor. his degree is in entertainment technology.

 

His leaders are the one encouraging him to go. Which is great! But at the same time, I don't know if I agree with them. Their point of view, is that he already has the traits that they look for in someone to move forward in the church. When I read the recommendations they gave him to apply to MU, they are honestly describing him, and it is humbling to see him so clearly through someone else's eyes. It seems like everyone wants to encourage him, but what I don't know is how honestly they are describing the struggles they see.

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:iagree:

 

I went to a Christian high school after years in public school. After high school I went to a secular university. I also worked in religious publishing for seven years. I found that, while I had a warm, positive, wonderful high school experience, the Christian subculture can be ingrown and emotionally claustrophobic at times. I also found that when Christians spend the bulk of their time in that subculture, their perceptions of non-Christians can become skewed and wildly inaccurate.

 

I do think most churches will want their pastor to have an MDiv. However, I think it's the wise pastor who makes sure to live in the non-religious world enough to know and understand those who believe differently.

 

I was talking to him about applying to University of Portland. It is a local Catholic college (we are not Catholic) but due to its academics, many secular students attend there also. It offers Biblical studies, but also has the math/science he used to love. I felt that it would have been a good fit for him, but he feels that MU is a better choice. And there the circle of discussions between us begins. Around and round we go.

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my only real advice and opinion is that he should attend an accredited university. other than that, let him talk to a few pastors in the different fields he is considering (senior pastor? worship pastor? christian counselor?) and get their advice. it would be wise to have him meet with a few people in the field he is pursuing to get some insight.

 

ETA - my husband is a worship pastor. his degree is in entertainment technology.

 

It is accredited by at least 4 agencies. It is a well regarded school in our area.

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Ds17 was always a math/science focused person. He completed College Chemistry 3 and Calculus 2 before he was 17yo. This past year, he has decided to become a pastor. He left the math/science behind and has focused this year on taking college classes that will transfer into Bible college instead. He can have his associates this summer if he wants it, in general studies from a local public college. (general studies because his math/science classes plus the Bible College transferable credits his working on, leaves him with a large mish-mash of credits.) Then he can start at Multnomah Bible College in the fall.

 

I would really like for him to wait a year before bible college. He will be 17 when he starts and will have his M. Div at about 23yo. Ds is very mature but still only has the experiences of a 17yo. He is already active in the church and does everything you would expect an older person considering Bible college to do. He volunteers, leads groups, works etc. He has all the recommendations from his pastors to start college and I have no doubt that he will succeed.

 

But....I think he needs to have more experiences under his hat before he starts Bible College. I keep talking to him about "broadening his foundation" and "you will only get out of college, what you can put into it". I think I am getting through to him and he is open to alternative ideas. The other day we talked a bit about alternative associates degrees that he can get, while he waits a year. Music, counseling, teaching are all natural choices....another idea is an extended missions trip (he is planning 2 weeks in Haiti this summer).

 

Do you have any input for him? Any ideas? He has led a pretty simple life and has never really wanted for anything.

 

ETA: feel free to say, what you honestly feel here. I promise I don't offend easily.

 

 

God gifted him in math/science. That says something. How does God want him to use that?

 

 

 

 

If he's seriously looking into ministry and he has some musical talent, a music degree isn't a *terrible* idea. Lots of churches are looking for a Youth & Music or Children's & Music pastor. (These would be good positions to fill while he's earning his MDIV.) That said, a music degree will not earn a can of tuna fish in the secular world.:glare:

 

 

It's flattering to hear that your ds is so well qualified to pursue ministry. Be a bit frank with the people encouraging him to go to Bible college, and ask for ideas for supporting him financially. (Some churches do give scholarships to Bible students. I've been a part of a church that was thrilled to give these scholarships.)

 

 

 

Look into UPS, Starbucks....I know those two used to do tuition reimbursement for part-time employees.

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His leaders are the one encouraging him to go. Which is great! But at the same time, I don't know if I agree with them. Their point of view, is that he already has the traits that they look for in someone to move forward in the church. When I read the recommendations they gave him to apply to MU, they are honestly describing him, and it is humbling to see him so clearly through someone else's eyes. It seems like everyone wants to encourage him, but what I don't know is how honestly they are describing the struggles they see.

 

Honestly, I would have your son talk to other pastors too (but probably within the same denomination or similar hierarchy that he plans to serve - just because some things wont translate to real life for him otherwise). My husband has worked at a few different churches. Some were mega churches, others only had a few hundred members. The dynamics of a church/staff and issues (both internal and external) do not translate from church to church. At least our situation has had a very unique experience at each place he has served. Of course there are some things that are at every church, but other circumstances are unique to the DNA of the individual church. Your son would really benefit from speaking to several different people, as it will truly broaden his insight. At least that's my opinion. I'm sure this is an exciting and stressful time for you.:grouphug: I hope it all comes together for your son. He sounds like a terrific kid!

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How do the leaders at his church propose he finance this expensive Bible college? It seems totally irresponsible to me for him to go into that much debt knowing he won't be able to pay it off in any kind of fashion. And I think you will have the same problem at the local catholic school. Please, look at public universities!

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I'd really suggest, especially since he likes Chemistry, going to a university and getting a hard sciences degree, and also, while he has a chance, studying the languages seminary in your denomination requires in the classics department. He also may find, even in a lower priced state college, that there's a pretty good religion/theology department. I went to a state university for my undergrad, and the various ministers assigned to the Campus religious houses also were considered faculty and taught classes-often with two or more ministers from different denominations (and sometimes religions, since the Jewish student center had a Rabbi as well) co-teaching from their different viewpoints. Some of the best courses I took were history and philosophy courses taught by ministers who were also the leaders of the campus communities, and my music history professor/faculty adviser was a Catholic brother-talk about being able to REALLY put a lot of western music in context!

 

I would not suggest getting a music degree. They're probably less employable, in a lot of ways, than a religion one, and expect a lot of prior knowledge coming in.Philosophy, sociology, and psychology may be helpful as far as seminary and having skills goes-but, again, are hard to find jobs in.

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Ds17 was always a math/science focused person. He completed College Chemistry 3 and Calculus 2 before he was 17yo. This past year, he has decided to become a pastor. He left the math/science behind and has focused this year on taking college classes that will transfer into Bible college instead.

 

ETA: feel free to say, what you honestly feel here. I promise I don't offend easily.

 

I read your other thread, too, before replying here. I guess I have a question - how much does he value your input right now? (I know, I don't have a 17yo yet...)

 

Several things you wrote make me think that he is being rather heavily influenced by his peers and fellow church-goers more than he is listening to your input. You wrote that he has never really wanted for anything, and that you will be helping him out in some ways for his post-secondary education - then you wrote that, in response to your concern about a heavy debt-load, he asserted that God will provide. As a Christian, I understand that mentality, but my thought was, "He's only 17 and doesn't appear to understand or to be receiving what his mother is trying to tell him about reality." Because of many different things you described, the assertion that God will provide struck me as just empty rhetoric he is hearing from elsewhere, rather than a proven conviction he holds himself. You talked about the bubble environment of the school - I have BTDT, and I can tell you it's a shock to come out of that bubble and have to live real life. I cannot imagine having to do that with all that debt.

 

The other part that struck me was the description of going from intensive science and math courses (before 17 - impressive!) to wanting to be a pastor. I know teens change their minds a lot, and it's hard to figure out vocational things - I remember the angst I felt about it when I was a teen. But whatever happened to his science and math passion? I can't imagine that disappearing for no reason, unless he was burnt out - but you didn't say he was - you only said he decided to become a pastor instead. I am imagining that comes as a result of his heavy volunteerism and hanging out with the people he hangs out with. Which is why my question came up - who has influence over this teen? Who is this boy listening to? Whose advice is he taking? Nothing wrong with a teen having a mentor - but might those people have a little too much influence over him at this point? In my mind, if he's floundering in ten years because of too much debt and nothing to fall back on, who is he going to go to for a listening ear - will these influencers be around for him? Are they the kind of people who will be vehicles of God's provision if needed? If they aren't, likely it will be Mom and Dad to whom the boy turns for advice.

 

If I'm wrong about all of this, please forgive me - I'm going by your comment about being honest. But I have seen this type of mentality in teens/young adults before, and have BTDT slightly in my own life, and it doesn't always turn out the way that young person expects it to. Also, I'm a big believer in Mom and Dad being the main influence on our kids. You sound like you really care about him.

 

In answer to your questions, I think you are right on about encouraging him to take his time and be a little more practical in his choices. If it were I, I would be actively and subtly trying to take back the reigns of influence. I hesitate to write this, but many "God will provide" stories that I have seen have resulted in provision that, underneath, had to be worked hard for - whether by practical means or by the sayers manipulating people into helping God provide. A 17yo, who has never wanted for anything, saying that strikes me as very inexperienced in life.

 

If I am reading your posts totally "off," kindly let me know and I will delete this.

 

ETA: I see you posted a few more times while I was typing this - off to read...

Edited by Colleen in NS
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How do the leaders at his church propose he finance this expensive Bible college? It seems totally irresponsible to me for him to go into that much debt knowing he won't be able to pay it off in any kind of fashion. And I think you will have the same problem at the local catholic school. Please, look at public universities!

 

Ironically, one of those encouraging him, has a son at the college currently (he is one of ds's bffs). LOL He has less scholarship money coming in, so it is going to cost him even more than ds.

 

The Catholic school starts at 17,500 per year. So, at least there, scholarships would be coming off of that figure.

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I read your other thread, too, before replying here. I guess I have a question - how much does he value your input right now? (I know, I don't have a 17yo yet...)

 

Several things you wrote make me think that he is being rather heavily influenced by his peers and fellow church-goers more than he is listening to your input. You wrote that he has never really wanted for anything, and that you will be helping him out in some ways for his post-secondary education - then you wrote that, in response to your concern about a heavy debt-load, he asserted that God will provide. As a Christian, I understand that mentality, but my thought was, "He's only 17 and doesn't appear to understand or to be receiving what his mother is trying to tell him about reality." Because of many different things you described, the assertion that God will provide struck me as just empty rhetoric he is hearing from elsewhere, rather than a proven conviction he holds himself. You talked about the bubble environment of the school - I have BTDT, and I can tell you it's a shock to come out of that bubble and have to live real life. I cannot imagine having to do that with all that debt.

 

The other part that struck me was the description of going from intensive science and math courses (before 17 - impressive!) to wanting to be a pastor. I know teens change their minds a lot, and it's hard to figure out vocational things - I remember the angst I felt about it when I was a teen. But whatever happened to his science and math passion? I can't imagine that disappearing for no reason, unless he was burnt out - but you didn't say he was - you only said he decided to become a pastor instead. I am imagining that comes as a result of his heavy volunteerism and hanging out with the people he hangs out with. Which is why my question came up - who has influence over this teen? Who is this boy listening to? Whose advice is he taking? Nothing wrong with a teen having a mentor - but might those people have a little too much influence over him at this point? In my mind, if he's floundering in ten years because of too much debt and nothing to fall back on, who is he going to go to for a listening ear - will these influencers be around for him? Are they the kind of people who will be vehicles of God's provision if needed? If they aren't, likely it will be Mom and Dad to whom the boy turns for advice.

 

If I'm wrong about all of this, please forgive me - I'm going by your comment about being honest. But I have seen this type of mentality in teens/young adults before, and have BTDT slightly in my own life, and it doesn't always turn out the way that young person expects it to. Also, I'm a big believer in Mom and Dad being the main influence on our kids. You sound like you really care about him.

 

In answer to your questions, I think you are right on about encouraging him to take his time and be a little more practical in his choices. If it were I, I would be actively and subtly trying to take back the reigns of influence. I hesitate to write this, but many "God will provide" stories that I have seen have resulted in provision that, underneath, had to be worked hard for - whether by practical means or by the sayers manipulating people into helping God provide. A 17yo, who has never wanted for anything, saying that strikes me as very inexperienced in life.

 

If I am reading your posts totally "off," kindly let me know and I will delete this.

 

ETA: I see you posted a few more times while I was typing this - off to read...

 

Beautifully said Colleen, I couldn't agree more!

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I read your other thread, too, before replying here. I guess I have a question - how much does he value your input right now? (I know, I don't have a 17yo yet...)

 

Several things you wrote make me think that he is being rather heavily influenced by his peers and fellow church-goers more than he is listening to your input. You wrote that he has never really wanted for anything, and that you will be helping him out in some ways for his post-secondary education - then you wrote that, in response to your concern about a heavy debt-load, he asserted that God will provide. As a Christian, I understand that mentality, but my thought was, "He's only 17 and doesn't appear to understand or to be receiving what his mother is trying to tell him about reality." Because of many different things you described, the assertion that God will provide struck me as just empty rhetoric he is hearing from elsewhere, rather than a proven conviction he holds himself. You talked about the bubble environment of the school - I have BTDT, and I can tell you it's a shock to come out of that bubble and have to live real life. I cannot imagine having to do that with all that debt.

 

The other part that struck me was the description of going from intensive science and math courses (before 17 - impressive!) to wanting to be a pastor. I know teens change their minds a lot, and it's hard to figure out vocational things - I remember the angst I felt about it when I was a teen. But whatever happened to his science and math passion? I can't imagine that disappearing for no reason, unless he was burnt out - but you didn't say he was - you only said he decided to become a pastor instead. I am imagining that comes as a result of his heavy volunteerism and hanging out with the people he hangs out with. Which is why my question came up - who has influence over this teen? Who is this boy listening to? Whose advice is he taking? Nothing wrong with a teen having a mentor - but might those people have a little too much influence over him at this point? In my mind, if he's floundering in ten years because of too much debt and nothing to fall back on, who is he going to go to for a listening ear - will these influencers be around for him? Are they the kind of people who will be vehicles of God's provision if needed? If they aren't, likely it will be Mom and Dad to whom the boy turns for advice.

 

If I'm wrong about all of this, please forgive me - I'm going by your comment about being honest. But I have seen this type of mentality in teens/young adults before, and have BTDT slightly in my own life, and it doesn't always turn out the way that young person expects it to. Also, I'm a big believer in Mom and Dad being the main influence on our kids. You sound like you really care about him.

 

In answer to your questions, I think you are right on about encouraging him to take his time and be a little more practical in his choices. If it were I, I would be actively and subtly trying to take back the reigns of influence. I hesitate to write this, but many "God will provide" stories that I have seen have resulted in provision that, underneath, had to be worked hard for - whether by practical means or by the sayers manipulating people into helping God provide. A 17yo, who has never wanted for anything, saying that strikes me as very inexperienced in life.

 

If I am reading your posts totally "off," kindly let me know and I will delete this.

 

ETA: I see you posted a few more times while I was typing this - off to read...

 

 

I really appreciate your honesty and take it all with the kindheartedness that it is given. :D

 

A lot of you points are the same thoughts that go through my own head. I do see a lot of outside influence going on. I do see that his peers are greatly influencing his decision. But, as a parent of teen who already acts and lives like an adult, at this time, I can only advise him just as they do.

 

I tell him stories about the pastors that I fill prescriptions for (not names obviously) and how it is common to see high blood pressure meds and anti-depressants. I openly ask these same patients for advice, and relay what they tell me to tell him "finish your science degree!!". But at the end of the day, it will be his choice.

 

He has had a few friends at this college leave, simply due to the financial load it creates. He has seen it happen. It doesn't seem to phase him though. He has set his sights, and he is locked into a goal. This is why I am only asking him to wait one year. I have talked to him about broadening his foundation, and that the advantage he has due to his age, is time. I talk to him about looking into alternatives to being a full time pastor...ie Doctors without borders, working on the ecology of regions to increase plant yields or ground water concerns, or other science based programs.

 

I will keep talking!!!! I have got him to listen and have real conversations with me about it. It is hard because he just feels like it is the perfect place for him to be...and I agree. I have told him that I want him to try other things first, because once he is there, I don't think he will ever want to leave. I try hard to acknowledge what he feels, but also bring in the logic to support the bill it will create.

 

Feel free to continue this dialog. I really appreciate having people to think this through with.

Edited by Tap, tap, tap
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As far as getting an undergraduate degree in science - that isn't really a great ticket to a well paying job in many cases. The kinds of lab tech positions open to those degrees do not tend to pay well.

 

I think if I were in this position I would think about encouraging my child to take a gap year and do mission work or volunteer work of some kind - some time and experience to narrow down his options.

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I think if I were in this position I would think about encouraging my child to take a gap year and do mission work or volunteer work of some kind - some time and experience to narrow down his options.

 

that's a great idea. i just saw the other thread with the school tuition. whoa! now i understand your reservations. 100,000 is a huge amount of debt! :svengo:

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I talked with dh a bit ago, and Colleen hit upon where he went.

 

Also, if he is called to missions he cannot go with debt. Period. That is a nail in that coffin.

 

 

My dh also brought up that God can provide along the way. Jumping out on Faith is not the same thing as jumping out on Debt.

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As far as getting an undergraduate degree in science - that isn't really a great ticket to a well paying job in many cases. The kinds of lab tech positions open to those degrees do not tend to pay well.

 

I think if I were in this position I would think about encouraging my child to take a gap year and do mission work or volunteer work of some kind - some time and experience to narrow down his options.

 

I agree, even BS in chem, will only lead to positions that pay 12hr in our area. But what I do see, is that it would give him options to move upwards with. And it would be a transferable, completed degree. To get his associates in chemistry, he needs a lab class, and 3 terms of physics. That is it. I would rather him have a AS in chem, than general studies. Then he could decide if he wanted to continue on with chemistry as a 4 year, or another science degree. But he could at least start as a Jr.

 

I am looking at extended missions trips for him. He is already planning a 2 week trip to Haiti in August. We were discussing this decision the other day. He now is considering a longer trip somewhere else. BUT his BFF is planning/going on this Haiti trip, so I don't know if ds will give it up easily.

 

I do appreciate your feed back. I don't mean for this to come across curt. I am just in a hurry.

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Money, or lack of it talks!

 

Show him the numbers, what his student loan payment will be, tell him what you will contribute and what you will not contribute. Then he will know how much he has to come up with. That brings reality.

 

Maybe all of those telling him it is the right thing to do and put their money where there mouths are.

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I agree, even BS in chem, will only lead to positions that pay 12hr in our area. But what I do see, is that it would give him options to move upwards with. And it would be a transferable, completed degree. To get his associates in chemistry, he needs a lab class, and 3 terms of physics. That is it. I would rather him have a AS in chem, than general studies. Then he could decide if he wanted to continue on with chemistry as a 4 year, or another science degree. But he could at least start as a Jr.

 

I am looking at extended missions trips for him. He is already planning a 2 week trip to Haiti in August. We were discussing this decision the other day. He now is considering a longer trip somewhere else. BUT his BFF is planning/going on this Haiti trip, so I don't know if ds will give it up easily.

 

I do appreciate your feed back. I don't mean for this to come across curt. I am just in a hurry.

 

 

 

You are making a lot of sense to me. (I am not a 17yo boy though.:tongue_smilie:) Getting that AS Chem makes a ton of sense. Getting a 4yr degree cheaply and THEN going on to get the MDIV makes even more sense.

 

I'm not sure of your denomination, but Golden Gate Seminary is on the West Coast, has extension centers and online options. I'm sure there are other schools too.

 

 

My dh also brought up the point that there is value in having degrees from different schools. (Bach from one school, MDIV from another, DMIN from yet another...) It doesn't just look good on paper, but it introduces him to a variety of professors.

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You are making a lot of sense to me. (I am not a 17yo boy though.:tongue_smilie:) Getting that AS Chem makes a ton of sense. Getting a 4yr degree cheaply and THEN going on to get the MDIV makes even more sense.

 

I'm not sure of your denomination, but Golden Gate Seminary is on the West Coast, has extension centers and on line options. I'm sure there are other schools too.

 

 

My dh also brought up the point that there is value in having degrees from different schools. (Bach from one school, MDIV from another, DMIN from yet another...) It doesn't just look good on paper, but it introduces him to a variety of professors.

 

Ds does not do well in on line classes. He can homeschool or he can go to class, but for some reason he procrastinates to much in on line and loses a lot of points for late work.

 

Ds's thoughts on the science degree...."why invest time and money into a degree that I won't end up using. Why not just work on the long term goal and skip the fluff in the middle." I see his point. Especially, when community college is $6,000 per year and public is 12,000+. So, in theory....he would waste $6-12,000 finishing a degree he won't use. He already has all the credits he can transfer into the college. Yes, he may scholarship some of this additional tuition down, but not all of it. The public college is roughly $500/credit, private is $600, cc is $100.

 

To this I counter argue: You will use you science to back up your arguments. You will use the logic, everyday. You will be better able to communicate with others, because you are used to defending your position and explaining the steps to your conclusions. But then he says, "I can learn that from logic classes, not just science." LOL (he is a bit of a smarty pants)

 

He is Evangelical Christian.

 

I am curious about the idea of having multiple schools? Why is this a benefit? (Assuming that a school doesn't just have the same professors teaching all the classes).

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I hear you now. Good luck with all your talking with him!

 

Feel free to add more if you are inclined. This thread and the other have helped dh and I talk through a few things to day also. It is nice to have everyone feedback and ideas.

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Money, or lack of it talks!

 

Show him the numbers, what his student loan payment will be, tell him what you will contribute and what you will not contribute. Then he will know how much he has to come up with. That brings reality.

 

Maybe all of those telling him it is the right thing to do and put their money where there mouths are.

 

For a kid who understands numbers so well, I don't think the money issue is really hitting home. I have always worked part time to full time, even in our heaviest home school years. He has been brought up in a 1 1/2 to 2 income home. He expects that his wife will work also. It the same disconnect that we all had growing up, about a living wage vs. a wage to retire on.

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Ds does not do well in on line classes. He can homeschool or he can go to class, but for some reason he procrastinates to much in on line and loses a lot of points for late work.

 

Ds's thoughts on the science degree...."why invest time and money into a degree that I won't end up using. Why not just work on the long term goal and skip the fluff in the middle." I see his point. Especially, when community college is $6,000 per year and public is 12,000+. So, in theory....he would waste $6-12,000 finishing a degree he won't use. He already has all the credits he can transfer into the college. Yes, he may scholarship some of this additional tuition down, but not all of it. The public college is roughly $500/credit, private is $600, cc is $100.

 

To this I counter argue: You will use you science to back up your arguments. You will use the logic, everyday. You will be better able to communicate with others, because you are used to defending your position and explaining the steps to your conclusions. But then he says, "I can learn that from logic classes, not just science." LOL (he is a bit of a smarty pants)

 

He is Evangelical Christian.

 

I am curious about the idea of having multiple schools? Why is this a benefit? (Assuming that a school doesn't just have the same professors teaching all the classes).

 

I can see his point. I have friends and priests who spent their entire education working towards degrees for their work in the priesthood, and it has served them well. I think though that the difference I see is that they had a bit more of a clear idea where they were going with that - they were interested in parish ministry in my religious tradition what that includes is fairly well laid out. It doesn't seem like your son is sure where his studies might ultimately take him yet, and that makes it hard to plan. That being said, they did not go to Bible Colleges but to regular academic universities, and then to divinity schools for divinity degrees.

 

But if your son really thinks that he would not enjoy working in the sciences, it might not be a good choice. A lot of young kids tend to think quite narrowly though. What interests him about helping people? What about international development studies, or economics, or environmental studies? What about the philosophy of science? What about agriculture? Even studies in contemporary philosophy could be useful.

 

As far as going to different institutions - academic institutions and departments tend to have a particular culture. The profs in the department all end up in that place for a reason, and they tend to have an approach of their own. Someone who does all their degrees with one prof as supervisor, or in one department or university, can end up rather narrowly educated even if the department is quite good. In many cases universities will not allow students to do undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate work in the same place, and post-grad students are often encouraged to study at different institutions for a time and take advantage of what they have to offer.

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For a kid who understands numbers so well, I don't think the money issue is really hitting home. I have always worked part time to full time, even in our heaviest home school years. He has been brought up in a 1 1/2 to 2 income home. He expects that his wife will work also. It the same disconnect that we all had growing up, about a living wage vs. a wage to retire on.

 

Ah, but is his dad a pastor? Being a pastor's wife isn't like being a bank teller's wife. Often she'll be expected to b involved at church and doing behind the scenes things. I think he needs to branch out and interview other pastors he admires on what helped them get where they are.

 

I can tell you that my DH wouldn't be able to do all he does at church if I was working and not running the home so smoothly. I'll also tell you that my involvement at church really helped build relationships and if I was off working I wouldn't have that same availability.

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For a kid who understands numbers so well, I don't think the money issue is really hitting home. I have always worked part time to full time, even in our heaviest home school years. He has been brought up in a 1 1/2 to 2 income home. He expects that his wife will work also. It the same disconnect that we all had growing up, about a living wage vs. a wage to retire on.

 

In addition to running the numbers have you asked ds to do a study on what the Bible says about debt? Proverbs 22:7 is a good place to start.

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I would urge him to think about a different degree than a BA in Bible.

 

If he were to go to a non-Bible college and continue to pursue science, he will meet many more different kinds of people than he will meet at a Bible college. This interaction with different kinds of people will pay off in the long run. It sounds to me that if were to only attend Bible college, he will be surrounding himself with just people who "think Bible" all the time (which I would love to do for myself - it just isn't pratical) - in other words he would be in a Bible-bubble.

 

It may be necessary at some point that he have a "tent-making" job for his financial support at the same time he ministers. A non-Bible degree can help for that.

 

The MDiv doesn't require a Bible major for the undergraduate; I can only think that a more broad foundation can only help.

 

He sounds like a great person.

Best wishes.

 

:iagree:I can't strongly suggest this enough. He needs a degree that he can fall back on. My ex has a Master of Arts degree in Bible and all his undergrad was in Bible/Pastoring etc... He cannot get a decent secular job to save his life. Not even in related fields.

 

Get a marketable degree first!!! It is so important. Then he'll always have a way to support his family someday. Seminary can come after regular college.

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