8,000 pages. 7 papers. 4 exams. All in 16 weeks. This was going to be a typical semester in seminary. Tweet
I would have to read 116 pages a day to finish everything on time. That would give me three weeks to write my papers (three days a piece), and 10 days to study and take four exams. If I stayed on top of everything, I could even relax on Sundays – at least until the end of the semester.
An Avalanche of Academic Assignments
This has been how all my semesters at seminary have started. The reading has varied by a few hundred pages – last semester it was as little as 7,200 pages of reading! The papers vary in number, but the total pages I end up writing always seems to be in the range of 40 to 60 pages. The exams have varied the most; in some semesters I’ve had as few as two exams, and in others I’ve had as many as six. (In addition to these assignments, I usually have 200 to 300 verses of Greek and Hebrew texts to translate each semester).
Seminary is the Only Responsibility, Right?
Of course, none of this includes the other obligations I have that do not end when seminary begins. I must still try to love my wife, earn an income to pay the bills, and lead a service weekly – in addition to my academic responsibilities. Oh, and I’m supposed to fit a rich devotional life in there somewhere – yea, about that.
Always a Crash Landing
A semester at seminary is a lot of work, but they always come to an end. Every semester of seminary ends in an existential crisis where I contemplate the meaning of life. (Perhaps this is related to the lack of devotional life seminary provides). Some semesters have ended well after the deadlines had passed by, but they all ended. None of them were pretty, but they all ended.
Exhausted from Just Thinking About a Semester at Seminary
This post was going to detail what I try to do during the summer to prepare for the upcoming fall semester, but I’m too exhausted from reliving the end of my previous semester and thinking about the next one. Look for what I do in the summer to prepare for my fall semester at seminary in the next post. Another series will look at the effects of seminary on family, work and spiritual life.
Am I the only one whose seminary experience has been like this? How have your semesters at seminary ended? Let us know in the comments below!