Part of the reason that I have been so busy is the number of courses we have been taking for our Master’s. Pam and I recently changed our program at Fuller Theological Seminary from a Master’s of Intercultural Studies to a Master’s in Global Leadership, with an emphasis on Intercultural Studies. The difference is more than one of semantics. It is also a difference of six fewer courses, which at the current rate of progress, is about a year and half. It is also $10, 000 US less in expenditure. Each. We were easily convinced.

The downside was that instead of taking the semester off, which given my other responsibilities at work I was more than inclined to do, I would have to take a course to stay with the ‘cohort’ design of this program. The coursework was not particularly difficult. I find that now I am finishing up my second year in this program that I have no trouble keeping up with the readings. We both have Kindles, and most books are now available in e-book formats. Although I still relish the look, smell, and feel of a ‘real’ book, an electronic book is not only cheaper and easier to obtain in Asia, it is also easier to highlight and cite in the multiplicity of essays, book reports, and forum posts needed to complete online courses at this level. Kindle now has a website that compiles our highlights by text, in order, with hyperlinks to the text to see context. For students and scholars this is indispensible. I don’t know who is the genius at Amazon that came up with this, but if you are reading this I would like to buy you a drink.

We very much enjoyed getting to know the members of our cohort. We were subdivided into smaller groups for the forums and feedback that constitute the bulk of the interaction in this course, and I felt like I got to know them each a little by the time the course was over. We also like the fact that we will be working with this cohort for the next two years. We even get to meet them this coming January in Colorado Springs when we fly there to fulfill the residence requirement of this course. By then we have to have read half of the course material assigned. Another six books in the queue.

At approaching two hundred books in our Kindles, half of them for these courses, our tiny minds are just exploding with new ideas and concepts in Christianity. From Brueggemann to Boyle, Hiebert to Korten, Bryant Myers to Walter Wink, it has been an exhilarating ride. The conversations these readings have inspired between Pam and I have been very rewarding as well. But after this course, and the two other I took simultaneously, I am now mentally exhausted and need a little breather. Looking forward to a little light reading. Think I’ll try Dallas Willard’s Renovation of the Heart and Darrell Johnson’s Experiencing the Trinity over Christmas. That should be a nice break.