Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Traddy Tuesday Advice

If you are a traditionalist woman, don't study for the M.Div.

I really loved studying for the  M.Div., but as a traditionalist, my M.Div. is pretty useless. Of course, it may be less useless in a country with more than a few hundred thousand Catholics in it. However, even then what is the lay M.Div. going to do? Do a priest's job knowing that a priest could and should be doing it himself? 

When I was doing a PhD in Theology, I was so miserable, I thought about activating my M.Div. and becoming an army "chaplain." (The scare-quotes are in deference to those who think the words "Catholic chaplain" should always be reserved to priests.) What stopped me was the thought that I would be unable to do what a Catholic chaplain must absolutely be able to do--in my opinion--and that is give absolution before death. I suppose holding some poor guy's hand and praying the Lord's Prayer while he was dying would have been something but what if he really wanted and needed a priest?

At any rate, today I am looking at job openings in Edinburgh and cursing myself for all my impractical life choices. We were told we wouldn't have an easy a deal as our parents, but did I listen? No.

Update: I take this back--a bit. If you can afford it, and you're at a good school, a three year M.Div. program can be like an amazing retreat. Pray a lot about what to do with the rest of your life after it. 

17 comments:

  1. c'est la vie9 June 2015 at 13:17

    What about teaching religion, Seraphic?

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  2. If you already have your teaching qualifications, an M.Div might be the way to seize control of the Religious Education department in your school.

    Oh, you meant me! No teaching qualifications. I bet the farm on the Ph.D. working out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you teach at a University? Although I know those jobs are hard to come by. :P

      Delete
  3. c'est la vie9 June 2015 at 14:21

    When I was looking into it a while back, I got the impression that qualified teacher status wasn't required at private schools in the UK... however I don't have any idea of how common it is for a non-certified teacher to be hired. There was a program (again in the UK) for graduates to obtain a teaching certificate over the course of a year while working on salary at a participating school (School Direct) but of course it is most likely different in Scotland.

    And in Canada you would be able to teach undergraduate courses at university (I'm not clear on whether you completed your PhD or not, but I had several professors who only had Masters degrees, although my undergrad was in a totally unrelated field to theology!)

    Anyways just a thought!

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  4. (Not sure where my comment went, so apologies if this posts twice.)

    In most dioceses in the US, you don't need a teaching certificate/license to teach religion in a Catholic school. It's worth you checking into the situation in Scotland. And what about tutoring?

    Also, what about counseling or "life coaching"? I guess you aren't a licensed counselor, but how many people call a priest (usually not a licensed counselor) to talk over life problems? That's not strictly the purview of an ordained priest. And I'd choose a Catholic life coach with good sense over a secular licensed counselor any day of the week.

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  5. My good friend (and co-founder of Edith stein project at nd) is now teaching a course or two in theo at a small catholic college, with only some sort of masters from the jpii institute in dc.

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  6. Here's a link to a life coach I know of stateside:

    http://slowmama.com/coaching/

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  7. But, Seraphic, do you WANT to teach? You are so good at writing, and your theology degree does serve you, does it not, when you write about things that have a theological side to them?

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  8. That's very nice of you. Well, yes, it does, really. I'm just cranky today.

    I do like teaching, though.

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  9. That's very nice of you. Well, yes, it does, really. I'm just cranky today.

    I do like teaching, though.

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  10. If it's any consolation, there are plenty of people who studied 'sensible' things like engineering, law and education who can't get jobs. My personal sense is that (in my country, anyway) the health sciences are the way to go.

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  11. Yes, despite my sturdily practical business degree, I found it basically impossible to land a good job until a relative offered me one. Everyone seems to love me there, and I think I am very good at what I do, but it still bothers me that it looks like I more or less had to fall back on nepotism.

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  12. I love and admire nepotism, personally, We used to call that "family businesses"! :-D

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  13. Off-topic, but related to both Theology and Poland, so possibly of interest :-)

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/blog/video-polish-president-elect-rescues-runaway-host-at-outdoor-mass/#.VXhsL2cmazo.facebook

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  14. Yes, I saw that. Well, any decent Catholic would do what he did. It's great that in this case the Catholic who did was a president.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yes, I saw that. Well, any decent Catholic would do what he did. It's great that in this case the Catholic who did was a president.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yes, I saw that. Well, any decent Catholic would do what he did. It's great that in this case the Catholic who did was a president.

    ReplyDelete

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