We Are Moving To Chicago!

I found out this past week that McCormick Theological Seminary will be giving me a $25,000 scholarship each year to attend their school (tuition is $11,000). I will be pursuing a joint MDiv/PhD between McCormick and University of Chicago. Sarah and I will be moving their this summer where she will be looking for a job in Marriage and Family Therapy. McCormick is in Hyde Park surrounded by University of Chicago.

I visited McCormick back in February to interview for the scholarship and had been anxiously (a very big understatement!) waiting to hear if I got the scholarship. This will allow me to truly focus on my studies and really dive into research. My two areas of focus are liturgical studies and Christian ethics/moral theology, especially in the intersection of the two.

I will also be pursuing ordination in the Presbyterian Church (USA). It takes three years to get ordained in this denomination, and the PCUSA has the most difficult ordination requirements of any Protestant denomination in the world. This makes them a very educated crowd. Since I have been working at a PCUSA congregation during the past four years, I have come to have a deep respect for the wide-range of theological perspective, an inclusive set of social ideas from conservative to liberal, and wide-spectrum of worship elements from emergent to traditional to contemporary to Gregorian chants and Taize services. I even like the Book of Order-- the Presbyterian rules for how a congregation and the denomination should function!

I'm very excited to be pursuing ordination. With my attendance at McCormick, I am able to see a glimpse of how my life over the next five years is going to play out. That is very refreshing!


  1. Congratulations! That's exciting. I'm a bit jealous, even. I'd love to be focusing on liturgical studies... have you read Simon Chan's Liturgical Theology? I loved it. I'm reading his Spiritual Theology now, which you also might be interested in, given the "moral theology" part of your interests.

  2. blessings on the continuation of your journey, my friend.

  3. Congratulations! May God continue to bless you and your family!

  4. Ben, I have not read anything by Chan. I just looked him up... looks great. It is now on my list to buy!

  5. Such a sellout! hehehe. Just kidding man! Congratulations. I am very happy for you!

  6. That is great news, Justin! I am not surprised at all that you were awarded the scholarship. What surprised me was that you "Even like the Book of Order."

    Wow! That one did surprise me.

    Congratulations again, buddy! It will be good to have you back in the Midwest.