Practical, Sensible and Spiritual
I was drawn toward earning an M.A.T. at SS Cyril and Methodius Seminary for reasons that were practical, sensible and spiritual.
First, like any further education, earning a graduate degree from an accredited institution is both practical and a wise investment. It not only lays the foundation for future studies, but also positions me for any type of work I’ll do with Christian organizations or in academic related fields. I initially had the perception that only priests or deacons could attend the Seminary, but once I realized there’s no such thing as a “typical” Seminary student, I quickly applied.
When I say it’s also sensible, I’m referring to how my Seminary experience impacts the major decisions in my life and influences what’s important to me. Personally, I think it’s essential to consider, “Where should I look for answers?” I was realizing that the people making the most sense were the faithful and theologians of Eastern Christianity – the two types of people I encountered and spent time with at Cyril and Methodius. When they discuss God’s plan for our lives, it’s far better than what other philosophies or life styles offer.
On the spiritual level, I concluded that believing things just because someone else says it’s true is easy, but that type of faith cannot apply to my life or help me. If our knowledge of scripture, liturgy or spirituality is not strong, then none of those things can transform us or be relevant in our lives.
Obtaining the Tools to Teach…
I am presently completing my studies for the Master of Theology degree from Saints Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary. I plan to use my MAT for teaching and believe my education at the Seminary enhances my ability to do this. As the professors at the seminary are teaching me, they are also showing me how to teach others. The educational tools provided have ranged from the standard research paper, developing and presenting classroom lectures, constructing historical interviews, book reviews, poster presentations, group projects and even a Socratic dialogue! I am confident I have been exposed to comprehensive scholastic experiences I can share with future students.
I also plan to obtain a doctoral degree. My exposure to the level of expertise that the Seminary professors exhibit has inspired me to strive for the level of excellence they hold in their particular fields.
While Also Growing Spirituality…
In addition, I will leave the seminary with a deepened faith. As I develop an expanded understanding and appreciation of scripture, apostolic and patristic writings, theology and philosophy, my attitude and way of life are changing. I see the world with an evolving Christian mind and heart.
Deepen Your Faith…
I came to the Byzantine Catholic Seminary as an ecumenical student, not from an Eastern Christian tradition. However, I knew that I wanted to study liturgical theology and I was interested in the Byzantine tradition and the seminary’s Master of Arts in Theology program seemed to be a good fit. I had previously taken courses at both evangelical and Anglican seminaries and I soon found out what a good fit the BCS was. Almost immediately, I felt I was “home.” I felt a warm and gracious welcome from the faculty and staff and sense of camaraderie from the other students, both seminarians and graduate students. The spiritual life of the seminary and the mentorship of the faculty were also hugely important to me.
Enhance Your Credentials…
I have spent my entire adult life working in Christian higher education. Because of my commitment to ongoing theological education, during my time of study at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary, I was promoted to Director of Distance Learning at the Anglican seminary at which I work. Since graduation, I have also been made an adjunct professor, teaching online for a private evangelical liberal arts college in New York State.