So. I have some news.

27 April 2011 27 comments

No. I'm not pregnant.
Important things happen that don't involve babies, you know ;)

>> I have resigned from my position as a pastor with the Oregon Conference in order to pursue doctoral studies at the theological seminary at Andrews University. Yes, my knowledge addiction has taken me this far.

Seek Knowledge. Affirm Faith. Change the World.


Q. What are you doing your PhD in?
A. Religion (Theological Studies)

Q. When do you start?
A. August 2012.

Q. Why are you waiting a year?
A. Because right now my brain is tired from three full-time years of MDiv coursework, and I'd like to start the PhD excited rather than exhausted. Also, taking a year off of formal coursework will allow me to narrow down my interests, to study for (and pass!) the prerequisite German and French exams, to save a pocketful of change, and to read a bunch of books that have nothing to do with theology but will nourish my creativity.

Q. How long will it take to do a PhD?
A. If I was really fast, 3 years. If I'm really slow, 10 years.

The entrance to Andrews University. Come visit sometime.

Q. What are you going to do once you've finished the PhD?
A. Start paying back my loans.

Q. No, seriously. Are you going to be a professor? I thought you were a pastor.
A. People who have 10-year plans use a lot of erasers because you know what? Life changes. People change. Loves change. Doors turn into walls and walls into doors. The horizon expands and contracts and sometimes you're in the fog and sometimes on the bluff. So I don't know what I'm going to do when I'm done with this degree. I would love to be able to return to full-time ministry and I think the local church context is a really important and really fun place to do ministry. But classroom ministry might be cool too. And I shed more than a few tears saying goodbye to my campus chaplaincy job. Let's revisit this question in 10 years and we'll see what the Lord has done with me.

Q. Are you crazy?!
A. Yes, a little. This is clearly the crazier path financially because I just let go of a real job with a real salary and real benefits in order to get an expensive degree which will provide no salary-raising qualifications in the end. // And it's crazy, too, because I don't really know if I can do this PhD thing. Supposedly it's really hard. And the only way to find out if I can do it is by trying. So, here we go!

headed into the risky future of the unknown road. here we go!


  • Gio and Larie Marin said...

    Congrats. I too will get a phd, but like you I needed the mental time to refresh and gain some pastoral experience. I would love to teach at Walla, Walla maybe we can be colleagues there lol. I am excited for you and God will give you the wisdom too succeed.

    God bless and congrats once again

  • Anonymous said...

    Kessia I am so proud of you. You go girl. You do what you feel is right for you and where the Lord is leading you. We need good preachers and we need good teachers. I know that letting the Lord lead you that you will pass these tests just fine. If not, then He is leading you in a different path. God bless you as you begin this new journey. Where will you be and what will you be working at during this next year?
    Love you,
    Dean Engel (Sharon)

  • Nikki said...

    Wow! Thanks for sharing the details of the next few years with us. I have to admit, I gasped out loud when I saw the first picture. But I should have known that schooling would be the bulk of the news. I hope your "year off" plans include a visit or two to the Pacific Northwest, since we won't be seeing you full-time anytime soon. Miss you lots and will be praying for this new and exciting educational endeavour.

  • Anonymous said...

    @Scott hahahha. Kessia that is awesome! Im really excited for you! I look forward to hearing what the "10-year plan" ends up looking like:)

    Jeff Carlson

  • Anonymous said...

    hahaha Scott, you need to read further! That picture is a stunner, though.

    Kessia! Yes! You CAN do it. Just hang on to God and He's got all the wisdom you need.


    -- Dr. C

  • Anonymous said...

    Kessia that is great!! Congrats on your new adventure. Perhaps you will still be there when we come back. God bless!
    Jared and Constance Spano

  • marlon said...

    Kessia! God has called you. He will continue to equip you, support you and open the doors. Sure, PhDs are not for just anyone, but you are Kessia Reyne! We have all witnessed your gifts and talents. You are super smart, a great writer, and an awesome friend. I am sure God has amazing things in store for you and Joshua in this journey! God bless!

  • Anonymous said...

    Fact: I am thrilled for you!

    However, this does come from a slightly selfish place because I have learned so much from what you have already learned. So, I'm hoping this higher education will somehow trickle its way down to me.

    Much love and prayers, always.

  • Anonymous said...

    You had me going with the pregnant belly picture! ;)
    Selfishly, I'm just glad you'll still be here, and not there. For you, I'm glad you are doing what you feel is right for YOU via God's plan! ~~Kelli W.~~

  • EG said...

    very good. it will pay back at the very end...this 1 year off is actually a good Idea...not bad at all, it is very difficult to start a phd tired, as I did, but for sure take out of the way german and french ASAP. Dr. Kunze is a good professor, and much affordable....I am happy for you wise decision. In my opinion in the long run the church will benefit from your brain much more than if you would go to ministry right away, have a gift, and I hope that the Lord will carry you through your dreams!

    E & H Guzman

  • Anonymous said...

    You'll do just find… I hope you enjoy the 12 month change (rest). Maybe during that time you and Josh could move in with the in-laws, write a book, and save every penny while selling your book, and pay for the PhD in cash! If you did that, going back to school wouldn't be that CRAZY financially!

  • sauvincent said...

    "Dr. Bennett"...sounds perfectly natural! We'll miss you at the union meetings, but know this, you will totally crush it out of the park! God Bless you and Joshua.

    Much Love,

  • Andrea said...

    I really like that paragraph containing the sentence about 10 year plans needing erasers. I know God will bless as you follow the risky path of faith and follow the desires God has placed in your heart. I also know that wherever you are, you are a minister. I'm cheering for you. :)

  • TaraB said...

    Kessia. I would just like to say that I think you are wonderful and awesome and lots of good things rolled up into a beautiful girl. Keep going. God is using you!

  • Donnie said... own every form of social networking in existence...and Rachel and I are stoked that you guys are staying around. Blessings!

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