Herme…what…ics?

My Bethel seminary career has begun. I am enrolled in a Masters Degree program called InMinistry – the idea being this is a program meant for people that are currently actively in ministry that want to further their education at the same time.

I am working toward a Masters Degree in Children and Family Ministry. Other degrees available are Christian Thought, Transformational Leadership and an MDiv. I love this program because in the CFM program, I will be learning more than just how to run a good Sunday school program. Bethel’s program requires two tracks of learning – Bible/theology AND ministry. So while I am learning more about kids ministry, I will also be learning a solid biblical/theological foundation to build it on.

Since this is my first term, the classes I am taking right now are the foundational classes for both tracks. So, I am taking Intro to Children’s and Family Ministry – kind of obvious and expected. All the rest of the ministry classes have this as the prereq. And the first bible/theology class is of course hermeneutics. Herme…what…ics?

Hermeneutics. It is the study of how we study the Bible. But in order to get there, we have to back up and understand how people acquire knowledge to begin with. And then we have to learn about what language means. We need to understand what activities we do that really aren’t Bible interpretation. How did the Enlightenment really impact interpretation? And what about the counter-pendulum swing of postmodernism? What is critical realism? And how does a Ferrari fit into all this???

I’ve learned about hermeneutical geography, speech-act theory, and empirical/implied author and audience. And somehow all this will become the foundation on which I build the rest of my theological studies.

Right now, however, it is doing nothing in the search for more resources for my paper! I am looking for resources to help me work on my first masters’ level paper. Aaacchh! I found a couple and now I’ve hit a wall. Back to the Seminary librarian today. If you know of any good academic articles on global epistemologies and how they intersect with the community/fellowship aspect of Christian spirituality – please let me know. Otherwise, pray that I can find them. My paper is due Dec 2!

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