Thinking about advanced studies? In this age of extension studies, D.Min. programs, and the general openness of graduate schools, many church leaders are considering a return to the academic world for further education and training. Is it right for you?

When I was wrestling with this issue, I realized my reasons for continuing education were as important as my choice of school. Below are some of the questions I asked myself.

Do I have a specific goal in mind? Melanie wanted to learn Spanish fluently in order to minister in a Hispanic community. John acquired a master's degree in counseling beyond his M.Div. so he could open a practice. Albert entered doctoral work in theology so he could teach in a seminary. What do all of these people have in common? They all had a clear idea of why they were studying. They had seen a need and were offering themselves to fill it.

I need a clear sense of vocation to reenter the student life; otherwise I'm wasting precious time and money. Unlike the undergraduate ...

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