Kristine Fisher asked:
I was wondering first off, when missionaries retire what do they do when they come back to the USA?
My major is Psychology and I am debating on whether I should get a Masters or stick with a Bachelors?
Part of me feels like it is a waste of time to get a Masters. But then I also wonder if it would open more doors and also give me a job when I retire, so that people will not have to support me when and if I ever come back.
I plan on getting missionary training through YWAM.
Kristine, I know that mission leaders will have different opinions on the question you raise, but I would suggest the higher degree for the following reasons:
" Not only because you want to get job security when you retire, but as an important preparation for your life long ministry, the Masters degree is much more valuable than the Bachelors. As you either have or will discover, a Bachelor’s degree is really only an introduction to the subject. The extra study, concentrating on one aspect of psychology, and hopefully writing a serious thesis, enables you to have a much more thorough preparation.
" If you maintain your spiritual vitality, having the preparation of a Master’s degree in psychology will enable you to be of much more help not only to the people among whom you minister, but also to understanding yourself and your colleagues. There is much superficiality among Christians, unfortunately. A deeper level of psychology, once again balanced with a commensurate deepening of your spiritual life, should help you appreciate even more the profundity of the Scriptures and your appreciation of theology. It should also help you reflect on the differences between your culture and the people among whom you will serve.
" More and more countries are screening foreigners requesting visas to enter their countries, giving more weight to those who can have the greatest contribution to their people. Having a Master’s degree may allow you to teach someday in a foreign country.
" If you have the time and resources now, take advantage of them. Later on, especially if you get married and have children, you will wish you had utilized your opportunity when you had it.
" If you opt for long term missionary service, you may find that your experience in psychology has been a great help, and after your first furlough you may opt for even further study.
May the Lord guide you as you consider these ideas. His is the only true wisdom.