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Count the cost


Doing the math: studying part-time
Jesus says to count the costs (in context, he’s talking about becoming a disciple, but it’s still good advice for any serious decision).
I have a wife and kids and pets and a mortgage and a job and church commitments and other responsibilities. I knew from the beginning that I’d be studying only part-time. Briercrest states that when you start an M.Div, you have 9 years to complete it. I was able to have 15 credits of advanced standing for a 90 credit program, which means I had 9 years to do 75 credits. Each class is 3 credits, which means 25 classes. That means at least 3 classes a year to take the maximum amount of time. Four a year would be better, leaving more flexibility for an internship and research project at the end. Four classes a year means one every three months (which lines up with my budget anyways). Having this goal right at the beginning helped me to set goals for each class.
At the time, I even laid out in a chart which classes I would take when, noting which classes were available by distance learning, and then analyzed several years of course schedules to see when the on-campus courses tended to show up (eg. “this class shows up every other year in the fall semester”, and observations like that). I deviated from the schedule when I wanted to, but I liked having a plan going in.

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