I thought I’d take a few days to give a bit of biographical detail on my religious walk. I’ll take the next few days to give some commentary on the following topics:
- My background – Where I come from, what prompted my search, my ambitions, etc.
- Maintaining My Faith as a Philosophy Undergrad Student – this isn’t as easy as it sounds!
- Pastoral Experience – What have a I learned so far as a student pastor?
- Grad School – My experience so far at Divinity School.
- Next steps – Where Am I Headed? What are my plans?
Today, I’ll talk a bit about my background and what prompted me to become so strong in my faith.
I grew up in a Christian home and I went to chuch when I was little. But religion was never pushed on me as a child. I was given the choice to pursue my faith as I grew older. For a while in my teen years, I drifted away from the church. As I moved into my 20s and started to think about settling down and getting married, I started thinking about the importance of church in family life. I always had this idea that I would like to get back in tune with God, but it wasn’t until I got married that I found my way back. My wife, Julie, is a strong Christian and she became my catalyst for coming back to Church. We were married in her home church. I was baptized in that church about a year after we got married (there was no peer pressure from my wife – it was my choice.) I became comfortable going to church again as a result of these activities.
That’s all fine and good, but why the strong attraction to religion? Plenty of people find themselves going to church as a family. That doesn’t mean that they go and sign up for divinity school and have ambitions of becoming a pastor. What prompted my desire to become so closely aligned with God?
Well… around my mid-twenties, I started working on my undergrad degree part time at the University of Toronto. I was working full time and I wanted to finish my degree to further my career and also for the personal benefits of additional education. And, I was experiencing a reawakening of my faith, so I thought what better topic to study than my belief in God and my interest in Chrisitanity. So, I enrolled in a specialist program in philosophy and religious studies.
This was just what I needed: the chance to learn more about my faith from experts in the field. Little did I know when I enrolled that this program that many of the thoughts that I would run into during this time would challenge the established views of the church. I’ll speak more on this next time though. I don’t want to get ahead of myself.
My goal during my undergrad was to firmly establish my faith and to learn how to intelligently articulate my faith to others. I wasn’t happy to just say that I believed because that’s what I was taught in Sunday school as a kid. I needed to be able to understand and explain my faith to others in a way that made sense.
And, I also used my undergrad years to temper my faith. I quietly researched potential career options in ministry during my undergrad years, but I kept I pretty quiet as I wanted to see just how serious I was and I wanted to make sure that my interest in Christian ministry wasn’t just a short term fad.
Well, I’m well into my graduate degree, and there are no signs of waning passion for ministry. So… looks like my faith has survived so far.
Stay tuned! Next time, we’ll discuss Maintaining My Faith as a Philosophy Undergrad Student.