One of my greatest joys as a Professor of Missiology is to see my students excel academically as well as on the field and in the local church. Part of this is due to my results-oriented framework, but also because I am privileged to serve at a Seminary and see students grow and develop to their full potential. I have been at the Baptist Theological College now for 5 years full time and have served for a total of around 9 years as an adjunct lecturer, giving input from the sidelines. I enjoy the initial growth stages of undergraduate work but love to see my students excel in their Masters and doctoral degrees. However, one thing I have realized is that postgraduate work, although popularized today, and rightly so, is not for everyone!
10 Factors that influence your decision to do Postgraduate work:
- Firstly, count the cost of what this will mean practically and measure that against the return gained through honest work and reflection. Most students like the idea of doing postgraduate work, but never think of the hours of reading, days of wrestling through concepts and constructs to produce work that is independent, fair and critical- work that adds value to academia and the church.
- Be honest about your own motivation behind completing this degree as it’s an emotionally tolling journey that will test your motivation and the application of your knowledge gained.
- Be true to your abilities and stage of life- don’t sacrifice what’s central for what’s a nice-to-have.
- Commit to the long haul and know that what you do will take longer that what you think and require more from you in terms of commitment and resolve.
- Develop a pattern of reading and research with dedicated time to study with the buy-in of your employer, friends, and family.
- Involve a wide network of peers and professionals in the process and the final product.
- Ensure that your provider has the proper accreditation so that the work you do can be applied internationally and you’re not limited in that respect.
- Select a supervisor based on what they can help you learn and discover that you don’t already know- even if you may not always agree with their perspective.
- Get buy-in from your family and friends, as their support is critical to the process ahead.
- Don’t waste your Supervisor’s time and ensure that what you deliver is quality and according to agreed-upon deadlines.
If you’re interested in pursuing a Masters or Ph.D. without coursework, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details or visit the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa’s site. If you’re interested in a great Master of Arts program with coursework at one of the leading Evangelical Institutions international, check out the Billy Graham Centre for Evangelism at Wheaton College and apply for a Masters in Evangelism and Leadership or a Masters in Missional Church Movements.
Any further tips and thoughts? DH