For those of my readers who are not connected to me via social media, you may not be aware that my educational journey is winding down and I can see the end of my doctoral studies. In January of this year, I successfully passed comprehensive exams and defended my research prospectus. Once approval from the ethics committee was received (required since my research involved working with people), I began my research. Though it was not exactly an easy thing, I managed to locate and complete interviews with 30 young people who met the criteria for my study.
With the data collection completed, I have moved into analysis and writing mode. Arriving at this point is not only significant in terms of the progress on my thesis; it is also a huge relief for me. Still, the amount of work remaining was large. Further putting stress on me is the fact that I was unable to complete the interviews when I had anticipated leaving me with less time to complete the analysis of the data and my writing. With that in mind and after much prayer, we felt the best thing for me to do was to step down from my place of employment and work on finishing this as my full time job.
Stepping out in faith, I resigned my position and July 15 left my place of employment to be a student full time. I am pleased to report that I am now moving along at a pace that I am comfortable with. The defense draft of my thesis is due September 15, 2015 and I do not anticipate any issues completing the document by the date. Further, oral defense will be October 2, 2015 on campus. The following week, I will visit Montana for the first time to present my research, along with my research partner, to a meeting of people from the Montana Southern Baptist Convention fulfilling one of the key requirements for graduation.
I am hopeful that I will be able to return to blogging a bit more regularly as my time at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary draws to a conclusion. Being part of the 2013 Doctor of Education cohort has been a tremendous blessing and will impact the rest of my life and ministry. There is still work to do but I am in the final stretch and am eager to reach the end with a strong finish.
As always, I covet your prayers and greatly appreciate your encouragement. We are on an incredible journey and it is pure joy to be able to share it with you.