Thursday, July 24, 2014

The next step

I am really glad that I am free to talk about this. We had good reasons for not talking about this publicly for a while, but now we can, so that's nice.

We are moving to Austin, Texas this fall, somewhere around August 25th so that I can start on my Master of Divinity degree at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. I have high hopes of becoming a Unitarian-Universalist minister when the program is over spending a lifetime taking way to long to explain to strangers "what's that church about again?"

I wrote a long post about my reasons for considering seminary in a post that was briefly on our blog and then moved here to a blog that I always have plans for updating.

So, I'll let you read that, which I wrote before visiting Austin back in February. After that visit I knew I was hooked. I knew that if I didn't go, I would always be wondering what would have happened if I did. I had all sorts of doubts going in about the worth of exploring seminary as an option, and although I left with plenty of doubts still in place, I touched something special enough in those three days. I still applied to Starr King, but Austin had way more financial aid available and a lower cost of living in Austin, but more than that, they had something special there in terms of community that was immediately apparent. A high percentage of the ~125 students live on campus in the student housing where we will also be living and we will all be together on a small campus. Basically, it is as close to the Jedi Academy/hippie commune as I am likely going to get in a grad school experience. 'Cause let's be real, I only want to be a UU minister because it's about as close to a Jedi Knight as I am ever going to get without abandoning my family to become a buddhist monk.

But seriously, if a day is coming where I don't like talking about what I believe, what other believe, what in the world we are doing here on this crazy planet and trying to find myself in a more spiritually whole place day by day, I certainly am not seeing it coming.

I am still in the "discernment" process to really decide if I want to be a minister, but I feel like there is no way I am going to find out until I start moving towards it. This degree--being low-cost (we got an estimate of total fees and tuition for the next year that was $2,000 after financial aid and are living in heavily subsidized student housing), limited in its time commitment (two years and an internship) and in one of my top-5 places to live, with plenty of other directions in which to take the master's degree should I choose not to become a minister (chaplain, religious scholar, college librarian in the religion department)--seems like such a good chance to find out that we decided that I couldn't pass it up.

Of course, that means that we are leaving Madison, at least for now, and Cait is pausing her PhD, at least for now. That's kind of her part of the process to talk about, but I can safely say that this was a joint decision and something we both want. We're not sure what this means for the future for either of us really, but here's a hint: if you think you can predict where Cait will be in 2 years, let alone 5 or 10, you don't know her very well. I'm just glad to know that wherever we are going, we are going there together.


  1. Yay! This post is awesome.

  2. Congratulations! Sounds like a great next chapter. Best of luck on your move!