So "Thankful Thursday," that is the theme at the radio station today so I thought it was appropriate for today's post, plus I am thankful today for many things. Back in the late 1990s, I pursued my undergrad while on active duty and it was paid for. After graduating, I started my MBA and I had the GI Bill which funded much of that, too, with a small amount each semester that was out-of-pocket. I graduated that program free of debt. So lately....actually for quite awhile now, I've had a yearning to return to school. I've played with the idea of a PhD program, a Doctor of Strategic Leadership (DSL) program and others. Every program I looked at asked me, either literally or on their website "why?" I wanted to pursue it. To pursue a doctorate, it doesn't seem to make sense to just "want to" and not have some kind of end state goal. Plus, each program, especially the DSL was very expensive. So I've gone in waves when it comes to education. I'm a sucker for learning and challenging myself (e.g.: ultra running!) so it's always on my mind. But, it has to financially make sense and it cannot rob me from my family. Those two pieces are deal-breakers.
Enter Moody Bible Institute. For most undergrads at MBI in Chicago, they go free. Yea...free. For decades, the students of MBI are supported by donors so that they don't graduate with debt. Pretty awesome, eh? MBI is a school with a very long and rich heritage. Their graduate programs aren't free but are very, VERY reasonable in cost. Shortly after the mens conference I attended a few months ago which was put on by Moody, I felt a very distinct "nudge" towards MBI and that I should look into their programs. Just last Fall, they kicked off a brand new program which is exclusively online but wholly Moody. It's the Master of Arts in Applied Biblical Studies. It makes a point to say it is NOT a degree in preparation for a doctorate, due to not delving into all of the languages, but contains all the rest. Here is the degree description if you want to review:
So as you can see, it will provide a very nice "framework" for me moving forward in my life. I definitely have a desire to dig deeper and honestly, I have no idea where this will lead, if anywhere at all. I couldn't care less about the letters behind my name or having another degree. I seriously only desire to learn and do what I feel led to do. What's the "big picture" in store for me? What could I possibly do in the future as a result of this or what doors may it open? Who knows!? Well, I'll tell you who knows....God does. Unfortunately, we're not privy to that knowledge but fortunately, I know He's in control and I'm excited to simply take the next step as He dictates. It's really that simple. So as you can imagine, my answer to those who ask "why?" isn't exactly an easy answer to convey. It's clear to ME but for many, they'll just scratch their heads and wonder "what's the point?" As for thankfulness, I'm thankful that I still have some GI Bill left over to fund it. I absolutely refuse to return to debt and this is no exception. I have just over a year's worth of the Montgomery GI Bill left and then I'll switch over to the Post 9/11 GI Bill which I have some entitlement to, thanks to my deployment in 2011. My plan is to start this Fall and graduate in the Summer of 2015...and yes, I plan to drive to Chicago and walk at commencement. Who wouldn't??!!
Before I say goodbye, how about one last shout-out for thankfulness. Dance. Oh yes...dance. Last night, we wrapped up our 6-week tango class. We've been married for over 20 years and have tossed the idea around of a dance class for years but never acted on it. Thanks to a killer Groupon deal, we finally did it. I don't think we've laughed and smiled like that...ever. It was so much fun! So, with the conclusion of this one, we're continuing on another 6 weeks but this time, it'll be 'swing'! Very different but certainly high energy and lots of fun. We also learned of a monthly "dance night" held by our instructor where many couples show up just to have fun, have a bite to eat, and dance. From what we hear, even the veteran dancers are "tolerant" of the newbies there so it sounds like something we might enjoy...and we can always use another date night.
Have a great day, everyone, and a wonderful Spring weekend!