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Monday, December 04, 2006

More grad school info

On Saturday, I recieved the packet of info from Ave Maria on the Institute of Pastoral Theology. The pamphlet which I'd read prior was included, and this did not tell the whole story.

The actual admission to Ave Maria's program is definitely more stringent than that of St. Thomas, and I am admittedly intimidated. Last night I typed up the questions listed in the reference form to one of my references as an FYI; does he still think he wants to answer to this? He is a wonderful supporter (one of the priests at my parish), but still, I think Ave Maria is asking a lot.

But as I commented to him the other day, although I am intimidated I will not give up on this idea; after all, had I always run away when I was intimidated, I would not have become a police officer, nor would I have become a firefighter. So I won't run away now, either...but that doesn't mean my stomach isn't in knots when I look at their requirements.

It's a good program...I'm just not certain that I have the formation required. And "formation" is a word they use a lot. A lot.

A lot.

I like the word formation....unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of it. Most of my "formation" was very poor as a child (but for what Mom taught...the saint that she is!), but since the teen years/early adulthood, no formation at all. Until my conversion years, and progress was slow. I don't know a lot. I've never taken a Bible study, though not from lack of desire for one. I have no theology background, only what I've read on my own, but there is no one to really test my knowledge, to force me to question, to ponder, to understand fully, and to internalize.

But I am going to take the class they are offering this spring because it'll give me a taste of the program, of the work requirements, the pattern, and insights into what they are looking for in their grad candidates.

Besides...I need a relevant paper to submit with the app, and I don't think that the one I provided to UST would be so acceptable at Ave Maria.

So that's a positive thing - the ability to produce a scholarly paper in an educational setting and offer it as representative of my abilities. And the fact that my references have time to back out and say "no way!" when they see what they are being asked to do/ say about me - that's another good thing. I don't think they will back out, but they may need to be more critical of my work in the parish, consider the stuff I have to do from a different viewpoint, etc. At least they have time to do that, and I have no doubt that if there is something that needs work, they would tell me. Although that actually makes me even more nervous about teaching now.

As Kurt Vonnegut likes to say, "So it goes."

So I would ask you all to please keep me in your prayers. And Ave Maria is NOT yet an accredited school, so I'm not sure if financial aid will be available. So please pray for Ave Maria as well. It is a GREAT school, is solidly Catholic, and they are working on accreditation which is a lengthy process. May God keep his hand on this school.

But one thing I know...if this is God's will for me, then He will provide. I have already told him that if He does not want me to go to school, then don't let it happen. Funny thing about God; he opens doors, and when He wants something done, and we are even trying to cooperate with His will, even if we bumble it every step of the way, He still gets us there. Because nothing and no one can get in God's way, and he has a great track record for rewarding effort.

So God, please bless my efforts, no matter how inept.


A Pilgrim said...

Well, from where I sit and read what you post, the most important factor in "formation," the Holy Spirit, has evidently been at work all along, regardless of formal formation or not.

Nevertheless, as you say, "if this is God's will...He will provide."

May the road rise to meet you!


Anonymous said...

All the best Adore, whichever way this application goes. The door might not open in your own timeframe but I am sure it will open.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: I'm praying for you. I think you know more Scripture then you think. I've heard you quote from Scripture more then once.

Unknown said...

You're in my daily prayers, Adoro!

I'm sure doing well in that first class will enable you to leap over some of those formation requirements.

Adoro said...

Thank you, everyone.

I wish it was more than a formation issue...but there's a money issue. I'm not sure loans are available, although I might qualify for 1/3 of the 6 credits. But that' won't cover the rest and I honestly can't affor to pay for the other credits and books out of pocket.

And there's an actual knowledge issue...might be able to overcome it, but we'll see.

This is a big job, and I am beginning to question whether I was presumptious to even seek this, but for now I will go forward. I figure that if God wants me to do this, then He will provide...the money and everything.