1. Kyle – tell us what the average day in the life of a seminarian is like.
Well, the average day begins much like anybody else’s: getting up, eating breakfast and putting on my pants one leg at a time. Living in the Woods, the name for the On Campus Married Housing, makes the commute much more pleasant. I only have a 5 minute walk to class. So far this really isn’t to different from anybody else’s day. Lately the weather has been cool and pleasant, making it a rather nice walk. However after morning session, at around 9:30, we all go to chapel. This really drives worship and discipleship to the forefront of the seminary experience. I’m not just here getting an education, rather I’m growing in discipleship and preparing for a life of service to Christ. Hearing God’s Word everyday helps to keep me from forgetting that. After that we have coffee hour, during which we drink that most important life giving substance. During Coffee Hour, we get to settle down and talk to each other. I’ve had many great conversations with some of the students further along in their studies. After coffee, I eat lunch and study. Greek is really hard. After that, I go to afternoon class. After that, I study more. Greek is really hard. The most difficult part of the day, honestly, is trying to find time for my wife, Amy. We have made it a point to do things together, as much as possible. We play Mario Party when we can, thankfully DK is not so much of problem these days.
2. You probably had some idea of what you were getting into when you moved up to St. Louis, but there were also some things that you probably had no idea where coming. What were some of the surprises you encountered?
For one, there is way too much to do here. I mean, there is a free zoo, a free art museum, and, most importantly for my cultural enrichment, free beer! The malls are awesome, the Galleria has a wonderful theater. The food is killer. I meant that literally. My death will be by Toasted Ravioli, Gooey Buttercake, and Schlafly’s Beer. To be honest though, the people I have met have surprised me the most. Our Summer Greek Class has gained some camaraderie through our struggles. Think of Band of Brothers or the Expendables, but with more loosing. (This was a Greek joke, I apologize for the pretentiousness). We are very supportive of one another and we are such a small group that nobody is excluded from fellowship. One week, we have a party at one person’s house. The next, we go out to somebody’s property outside of the St. Louis area, in order to fish and barbecue. This weekend, we plan on going together on a brewery tour. I’m surprised that so many men can come together from all manner of places and backgrounds to serve Christ.
3. How much does it cost to be a seminarian these days? And is there any way that we can help you with that?
The cost for this semester alone was $10,603.54. This semester, my financial aid was able to cover a decent chunk of the cost. However, we still had to pay around $7000 through loans and our own finances. This number includes rent, electricity, and tuition, but does not take into account our other expenses, including food and gasoline. The honest truth is that any financial support at this moment would be viewed as a blessing. We really would be grateful for that help.
4. Now that you’ve had a little time away from University Lutheran, how do you feel that your time here helped prepare you for your vocation as a seminarian and soon-to-be pastor?
In retrospect, University Lutheran was my first church home. Although, as much time as I spent there during my undergrad career, some might of thought of it as my actual home. I wasn’t too involved in Church before coming to University Lutheran and I even was Confirmed at University Lutheran. So, there I was able to grow in Faith. I also developed a yearning for what every day at University Lutheran had to offer and I especially looked forward to +Vespers+ every Wednesday Evening. The moments of laughter and fellowship gave me, even in the face of the most brutal of trials, Hope. Most importantly, I learned that being a Christian is not just a solitary exercise in personal vindication, but it is our total reconciliation with God through the self-sacrificing love of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Christian life is a fundamentally social life. We aren’t meant to be apart from each other, just as Christ doesn’t mean for us to be separated from him. I was able to make many wonderful friends at University Lutheran, as I am beginning to do here at the Seminary, and even if I have left for now, I know that what I experienced was special, not because of the wonderful food at +Vespers+, or the fun times I had tailgating before home games, the countless lost games of Mario Party, not even PJ’s Homebrew made it special. What made it special, separated from the cold impersonal sentiment that college instills into many of us “young-ins”, was and always will be Christ and that through him I was and am able to receive and give Love.