The following was written by Campbell University Divinity School M. Div. student, Jonathan Altman in February 2009.  Jonathan has his own blog to document his journey of theological education.  He has given us permission to share several of his entries, so keep an eye out for them in the coming months! -- Melanie


This semester is turning out to be a great one. I'm staying on top of my reading, and I'm learning loads of new things. I'm taking Ministry of Writing and Old Testament II with Dr. Tony Cartledge whom I had Old Testament I with last semester. Both of these classes are filled with information, and the writing class is particularly interesting as I learn to hone my abilities. A class which I hate to say I was reluctant to take, but now truly enjoy, is Church History I. Studying the early Church is fascinating, and as I learn, I am drawn closer to the universal Body of Christ. It is so easy to be short-sighted in denominational life, but we all have roots in the early Church. Lastly, I'm taking Life and Work of the Minister, a "how to" class that examines the nuts and bolts of practical ministry, including counseling, weddings and funerals, baptism, and communion.

New students were formally invited into the divinity school family yesterday at the Spring 2009 Commissioning Service at Buies Creek First Baptist Church. I was privileged to be a part of this service. The music, under the direction of Dr. Larry Dickens, was spectacular, and the sermon by Dr.Cartledge was outstanding. All students, past and present, were invited to reflect on the call to ministry, to renew that commitment and responsibility, and cast any cares upon the Lord. Although I come from a much different way of "doing" church, it is an honor to learn and serve with Baptist, Free Will Baptist, Presbyterian, and Methodist friends. I realize I say that often, but it is an awesome experience. Divinity school is much more than sheer academics; it is a time of spiritual and ministerial formation. Other than obtaining knowledge, I feel as if I'm being shaped. My world view and understanding of the Gospel has expanded, and I have developed a true appreciation for all brothers and sisters in Christ. I love having the opportunity to experience various forms of worship. To my high-church friends: Who knows, I may one day say, "This is the word of God for the people of God."

And if I'm the only one to say, "Thanks be to God," it will be okay. We all have so much to learn from each other.


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