For awhile I’ve wanted to write about discovering the treasure that is the seminary faculty, but realized it would be a little hypocritical coming from me. (Chad mentions this topic in his Top 5 “secret” tips for your first semester) This is my fourth year at Multnomah Biblical Seminary and it was not until this Fall that I made my first appointment with a professor (except for a four-minute sweaty palm appointment to challenge a low grade my first semester, but that hardly counts). Yes, it’s taking 3+ years of seminary to even make an appointment with a professor. Sad, I know. I always thought it would be neat to talk to them, but somehow the idea of actually scheduling a meeting seemed to require that I be either in need of serious counsel or in danger of dropping out, and I was neither. I never really felt an emotional need, and could never think of anything that seemed significant enough to demand their precious time. And, since I’m largely content to do things solo, I settled for chats in the hallways.
But by year four it was time. I finally had to do the internship I’d been putting off for three years, and by an amazing God-ordained turn of events, was invited to a do a Teaching and Research Fellowship with my mentor professor. This meant meeting with her weekly along with my other teaching, grading, and research responsibilities. Weekly? This means that this year I will meet with professors as least thirty times as much as I’ve done in all my other years combined (!). What I’ve learned so far? Our faculty is the un-mined treasure of this school.
I’m realizing these professors are so much more than teachers-they are vision casters and mentors and dreamers and facilitators. They are door-openers and enablers and wise and godly counselors. They are bruised and scarred men and women whose lives are brimming with stories to share. And what amazes me is that their aim is to see students, young and stumbling students like me, be greater, humbler, and more effective ministers of the gospel than they are themselves. As my mentor said, “My job is to dream something bigger for you than you could ever imagine.” And she has. It is relationships like these that serve as catalysts for God’spurposes will to be carried out for His glory.
As another professor told me today, “You don’t have to have a problem to come see me. Just come see me. We can go for a walk, talk about ministry. Bring questions, ideas, concerns, or just your sandwich and a cup of coffee.” I’m now seeing that if we only attend classes, we’re missing the greatest treasure seminary has to offer–the precious men and women of God who give their lives to see us thrive. Mine this treasure. Make an appointment, and see what gem you may unearth.