Tonight marked one of the final hurdles standing betwee me and my MDiv cohort and our degrees: the formidable MDiv Convocation. Essentially, our Convocation is a presentation of the case studies we’ve been working on throughout the semester. Unlike other schools that require written and oral comprehensive exams (and for those of you at JSTB heading into comps, we’re praying for you!), we do things a little differently. During the second year, we write a 10-12 page statement of faith which we then defend during an oral exam with two professors. Then, during the third year, we do these group case study presentations. The second year class is called “Theological Synthesis” and the third year class is called “MDiv Closure.”
And let me tell you, closure is what we’re all looking for. At the end of a three year degree, all of us are ready to be done and to move on. But, at the same time, our lives don’t really allow for much time to really get “closure” because of all the requirements and finals and…you get the picture.
Which I think is why one part of our graduation requirements is a reflection paper, looking back on our last three years, which we then discuss with our mentors. It’s a forced moment, but that’s probably a good idea, since it’s hard to take time to be reflective when you’re busy figuring out what you’ll be doing the following year (no, I don’t know yet, so don’t ask!), packing up, etc, etc.
But someone brought up something in his question to my group that makes me both pause and laugh a bit. My group’s presentation was on the modern understanding of mission and bringing hope to those who suffer. He asked why we chose to focus on hope and not faith or love. I think the simplest answer is that, right now, we’re very much in the midst of the “already, but not yet” tension and that came out in our presentation. Not bad for a bunch of folks who cannot wait to graduate!
Becky Chabot is a third year Masters of Divinity candidate at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. After graduating from Creighton University, Becky lived in Bolivia and spent a year as a St. Joseph Worker (www.stjosephworkers.org). Her research interests include Latin American liberation theology, intercultural theology, and social ethics. When not doing schoolwork, she enjoys Bob Dylan, Doctor Who, knitting, and good Scotch. She also enjoys figuring out peoples’ Enneagram numbers, Myers-Briggs types, and Hogwarts houses. Her main blog is entitled A Traveling Theologian.