I'm going to be graduating this spring with a BA in English from Corban College (a Christian libral arts college in Salem Oregon)and I was going to continue on to get my MA and doctorate in something to do with English literature because I wanted to be a college professor, but now I want to go into ministry and serve God. I want to do whatever will make me the best asset to His ministry, so I guess what I'm taking forever to ask is - is there a place or a need that you know of in ministry for people who have their doctorate in English studies or would I be of more use getting a ministry degree instead?*THANK YOU SO MUCH, I'm so sorry I wrote you a novel : /
Nice to hear from you, Audrey. We need a quiet afternoon to explore your very significant question, something we don’t have, but I’ll try to deal with your question.
What do you conceive as being “ministry?”
There are many professors of English who see their work as “ministry,” helping their students work out a Christian worldview as they read the great writers of the English language and preparing Christian students to broaden their minds through literature and learning to express themselves cogently and creatively. There are excellent Christian English professors who also use their position to make friends with students and fellow professors and use these contacts to share the Gospel (as I did for 8 years in the National University in Bogotá, Colombia). I would consider these positions as “serving God.”
But perhaps a more common understanding of “ministry,” and the sense that you are using this world, would be to take a position in “full time Christian work” in a church or an InterVarsity Staff worker.
I am glad that you want to serve God, and the Lord may well be calling you into “full time ministry.” Let me ask you some questions for your consideration. If you would like to write me back and enter into dialogue, I would be glad to explore some of these things with you.
" Why did you decide to study English? When you began your major, what did you see yourself doing in 10 years? Has anything changed? Do you feel you are gifted as a teacher? Have your professors encouraged you to go on to more academic work in this field? If so, why? Could you see yourself teaching English in another culture, like say, China to be a witness for the Gospel?
" When you think of “ministry,” what do you have in mind? What has drawn your attention to this alternative? What kind of ministry experience have you had already? What ministry gifts do you feel you have? Following this area of interest, what would you see yourself doing in ten years? Has anyone encouraged you to go into full time Christian ministry?
" Do you have a passion? If so, what is it? How long have you had it?
May the Lord guide you as you work through these questions, Audrey, and as I said, if you would like to write me back, I’d be glad to respond.
In His Grace,