This guest post was written by Nathan Dean, CTK Ministry resident and seminary student.
So, what’s a little extra reading? After all, a year of seminary was behind me and the CTK Residency sounded like a perfect fit for my second year plans. Indeed, the very timing and substance of it all was a wonderful answer to prayer for me. However, as the Residency kicked-off I began to recognize that the volume of reading was not going to be in any way insignificant. Then, as my fall semester began shortly thereafter, I realized this was going to be quite a challenge for me. The confluence of events placed me in a bit of a marathon state of mind.
First, I love to read — but the thing I find to be a waste of time and energy for me is to read anything of substance at a fast pace. I want to take it all in — ponder it — let it marinate — digest and critique and enjoy the process … otherwise, why bother? Second, this semester of seminary brought me to my first semester of Greek. Now, I had been rather looking forward to this. I married into a very Greek family almost 25 years ago — it should at least have a familiar feel to it. Let’s just say, I soon discovered there are some conflicting opinions across academia and also within the modern Greek community as to what truly qualifies as ancient Greek. But, that’s a whole other story and it all worked out well.
Now, it was helpful that some of the assigned reading for the Residency overlapped with recent seminary requirements already fulfilled. And there were quite a few texts that were particularly poignant and worthy reads — The Reason for God (Keller) and Questioning Evangelism (Newman) to name a couple. Even so, the future Residency candidate should be prepared to invest in some serious reading in addition to duly executing the corresponding responsibilities of the program.
Since I take most of my seminary courses online rather than on campus, the personal relationships formed and fostered through the Residency have been most welcome. This was a welcome value that I had not fully anticipated, but quickly came to appreciate. All in all, the broader perspectives acquired and the deeper appreciation for living the Gospel have served to make this a most valuable experience.