Stepping Out on Faith

by hamiltonmj1983

How many of you have seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? I watched this movie over and over again when I was a kid. It came out when I was six years old, and I had a new hero.

One of my favorite scenes from the movie was when Indy steps out in a “leap of faith” on to the invisible bridge.


Recently, I decided to take a leap of my own. My graduate coursework was not exactly of the highest quality (maybe I should rephrase: the effort put into my graduate coursework was not exactly the highest quality!). If I want to get into a PhD program, I need to find a way to improve.

A couple of weeks ago, I made the decision to apply for and enroll in a Master of Arts in Applied Theology at Carson-Newman University (my alma mater; I received a BA in Religion there in 2007). Many people have asked me why a MA in Applied Theology; my reasoning is simply: (a) To show that I can graduate from an accredited MA program with a 4.0; (b) expand my horizons and add theology to my biblical studies background; (c) be able to relate the academy to the church, and (d) have a supervised writing statement that I have to orally defend.

That said, when I made this decision and applied, I had no clue how I was going to fund this program. The program is new, so little to no financial aid is provided by the school. I stepped out on faith, and said “God, if you want me to do this, show me how.”

And it turns out that he has! The very next week I was asked to teach an additional summer course for the community college where I am an adjunct. This would cover the cost of the summer course I planned on taking. That same day I received an email from the dean of religion at CN saying that there is a good possibility that I can teach an undergraduate course, which will cover two more courses. Later that same week, I received an email from another community college, offering my a course to teach in the fall. Suddenly, I have Summer, Fall, and most of Spring paid for!

I don’t often mix theology and emotion, although I probably should consider that to be acceptable practice. Today is different, because I am in awe at how God provides.

Amen and amen!