Well, it’s official, and I want to share with the blogosphere. Most of you already know this… but I’m moving to Germany in the fall to study in Munich as an exchange student from Candler. I wanted to firm up some details before I wrote about this, and also for it to feel “real.” Now that the semester is over, it finally does!
|A shot in Munich’s City Center|
Here are some of the high points of information regarding this journey…Deciding to go: I started thinking about this last fall. It wasn’t an easy decision. Because I have served a congregation here in Atlanta the past two years, going abroad is not just leaving Candler for a year, but leaving my church family in the midst of a tenuous season of transition. I had to 1st free myself from the notion that the church wouldn’t survive without me. They really will. While I’m told I will be missed (and I will miss them), God has and will continue to provide leadership there. Peachtree Baptist Church has been a wonderful learning ground for me. I am so grateful for the grace they have shown me over the past two years. 2nd of all, I knew that my time in seminary is limited – this is the last period of life in the foreseeable future when I could pursue something like this, and the opportunity was too good to pass up. German was my language of choice in 6th grade and I studied until my junior year in college. After a 3 year break, I took a class this spring semester at the college to brush up, and feel like once I am there and immersed, I’ll pick it up quickly. In undergrad, I thought really seriously about going abroad, but couldn’t bear to leave “college life” at Samford for a year… that is to say, I’ve wanted to do this for a long time… and this seems like the right time.
What will I be studying, you ask? And where? I’ll be studying in the Faculty of Protestant Theology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. LMU offers a unique ecumenical learning environment. The university has Catholic and Protestant faculties as well as an institute for Orthodox theology. So, folks from all these traditions will be coming together to learn, and I think it will be really cool! My classes will be kind of similar in topic to the classes I could take here at Candler, but they’ll be all in German and in a different style of learning (more lecture-based, less outside readings).
Where will I live? At the Collegium Oecumenicum München – or the “ecumenical collegium” – a living/learning community – with all Christian students of different confessions – about half international/half German. I’ll have my own room and share common space with 5-6 other students. Then there are social/spiritual/learning activities for the entire collegium. Its located right next to the Englischer Garten – kind of like the “Central Park” of Munich – its Europe’s largest city park.
Between now and then: I finished school Tuesday, will be in Atlanta through the last full week of May, then packing up and going to Kentucky for about 10 days. On June 7, I leave to work another summer of Passport Kids Camp. If you know me well, you know how much I love this ministry. I am excited to Direct the Kids East Team again. We’ll be traveling for camp in Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. I’ll go back to Kentucky around the 31st of July… then prepare to leave for Germany.
My departure date is up in the air still. I am waiting to hear back about some grant money I’ve applied for that will determine my dates. It looks like I will go sometime in mid- to late-August. I’ll be there probably 11 months.
That’s enough for now… I’m so excited and so grateful for the opportunity Candler School of Theology has provided to “go international” by building the partnership between two such fine institutions. This will make for good blogging over the next year!
|Scloss Nymphenburg in Munich|