January 2, 2017
Today we continue our reflection on the classic educational tracks that Sioux Falls Seminary offers through its master’s programs. Last week, we provided a brief definition of what we mean when we say “classic” track. In short, it is the traditional and valuable pathway through a degree program with which most students are familiar.
Our focus this week is to provide some insight on who might be best served by a classic track. With its growth, popularity, and innovative approach to theological education, the Kairos Project is something many prospective students are interested in pursuing. We are thrilled with the groundswell of support for the Kairos Project. At the same time, however, we want to hold up the classic track as a wonderful option for many students. For a great number of individuals, the classic track will serve them much better than the Kairos Project. This is especially true with some of the enhancements that we are making to the classic track. Let’s take a closer look.
Students Trying to Discern God’s Call
One of the most prevalent reasons students choose to enroll in seminary is because they feel God calling them to something, but they are not quite sure what that means or what to do next. In many cases, students in this category express a deep desire to study God’s word and to grow closer in their walk with Christ. In both cases, students are making a wonderful decision to follow God’s leading. In many ways, these students are a model of Christian discipleship. They know God is calling them deeper, and they are looking for someone to walk with them on this journey. If you or someone you know is in this category, I would encourage enrolling in one of our classic educational tracks. You will be supported, encouraged, and challenged each week in class by professors who care deeply about your walk with Christ.
Students Available to Attend Class Once Per Week
All of the professors at the seminary love the Lord and have a desire to help students grow in their walk with Christ and in their ability to do what the Lord is calling them to do. If students have a schedule that allows attending class once per week, they should strongly consider a classic track. This gives students the opportunity to learn with faculty and other students each and every week. It is an experience that is impossible to duplicate and something that many students have never experienced.
Students Learning Best Through Verbal Interaction
On the same note, if students learn best by interacting with classmates and professors face-to-face, they will love our classic educational tracks. Students are able to engage in dialogue that is transformational and takes advantage of all aspects of person-to-person communication.
Students Desiring to Hear Professors Explain Topics of Interest on a Weekly Basis
Regardless of track, students will have the opportunity to hear faculty explain various aspects of the Christian faith. In the classic track, however, students enjoy this privilege each and every week. Not only do they get to engage in person-to-person communication with other students, but they also get to hear faculty, who have spent their lives looking at scripture and how it impacts our walk with Christ, share their insights.
Students Valuing a Classroom-Based Community of Learning
Finally, if as a student you value the kind of learning community that is created within the walls of a classroom, then a classic track is perfect for you. Obviously, all educational tracks at the seminary create a robust community of learning, but the form and structure of these communities varies based on the track. Spending fifteen weeks walking through the Old Testament with the same group of people in the same classroom creates a unique community that is nearly impossible to replicate in other ways. For some, that type of learning community is invaluable. For them, a classic track is recommended.
But What About the Wonders of the Kairos Project?
I am not surprised if you read this post and find yourself asking, “Why would anyone choose something other than a classic track?” We have an amazing faculty and the traditional classroom experience can be transformational for those that fit within the categories listed above. At the same time, however, some students are best served through the Kairos Project.
A growing number of students are coming to seminary while already serving in some form of leadership role at a local church. These roles include senior pastor, associate pastor, worship leader, youth pastor, discipleship pastor, elder, board member, small group leader, and more. Whether paid or unpaid, many individuals are already serving in the local church before they ever enroll in seminary. The Kairos Project works well for people in this category because it provides such students the opportunity to integrate ministry and education in unique ways. It also works well for those who are not able to attend a weekly class session on campus or who reside some distance from the seminary.
The most important thing to remember is that neither the classic nor the Kairos Project tracks are perfect for everyone. Incoming students should work with our team to discern the best way forward for them. If you feel God leading you to take the next step in your faith journey, feel free to call us. We’ll get you connected to the program that is best suited for you!