Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Method to the Madness

Because I am taking a night class for the first two weeks, I have mornings free. So, this morning, I ventured out to a recommended bicycle route that is also used by walkers and runners. I think it is 3 or 4 miles, but it felt very safe. It surrounds some sort of business campus, so it has a 7 foot fence on one side and a well traveled road on the other. It was good to walk without a backpack weighing me down.

Today was also the first day of our Research Methods class. This is the class that leads us into our dissertation projects. I enjoyed hearing the initial directions that all of my classmates are going. Tomorrow, we have to present four things. 1) Our proposed title (which sadly cannot be anything creative - it has to be clear statement of what we are trying to learn or discover. Some will be testing theories; others will be learning new skills. 2) The statement of the problem we intend to address. 3) The purpose of the project which basically answers the question of what difference we hope to make, and 4) a brief paragraph explaining our scope - the limits of what we are doing and how we plan to do it. I'd share mine with you, but I have a feeling it may change over the next few weeks. We also have to propose some definitions, evaluations, time lines, beginning bibliography, etc. All of it is subject to change once we began to meet with our church advisory committees...

The whole things seems a little daunting, but what gives me hope is how the project is explained in our D.Min. Handbook: "an act of ministry designed, planned, executed, and evaluated within a specified time period." While there are lots of "i's" to dot and "t's" to cross, I am encouraged by thinking about the whole thing as a ministry. Still, you'd better get ready!

Here is a picture of our chapel in Seminary Hall.

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