This is Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, just before 8 last Friday morning. There is a set of windows at the bast of the tree that is somewhat centered in the shot. Through those windows is the classroom where I took a Ph.D entrance exam. Taking the exam is no real guarantee you’ll get in. It’s really the last phase of your overall application. That, and the faculty interview (which I thoroughly enjoyed).
The exam was at 9 in the morning. You had (or at least the philosophy exam had) two questions. You picked one, and spent the better part of the next 2 hours trying to answer it well. Somewhere within my 10 page response, I think I did ok. I guess we’ll see once it is graded. I’ll find out sometime late March or early April whether I got in, got wait listed, or got denied. You could also get invited to the Th.M program, but I already have one of those, so that’d be kind of pointless.
Over the course of my time in Louisville I was able to reconnect with my good friend Todd and his wife Megan (and their 16 month old Simon, who I think likes me). Todd and I go way back to like 2006 or so. He attended Boyce briefly, then worked at Apple, met a great girl, got married, and is now fairly settled down. He works for Forest Giant, a mobile app and web develop you should probably check out if you have needs in that area. He is also quite the photographer and has his own photo company, ABNY, you should also check out. Thanks to his handiwork, I now have a newer headshot, which you may or may not have noticed around the interwebs.
Also during my time in Louisville, I was able to meet up with of guys I knew from Dallas that are now in the SBTS Ph.D program, as well as connect in real life with several people I’ve known digitally. One was a guy named Garrick Bailey who is also hoping to get into the Ph.D program after he graduates DTS. We had lunch with J.T. English, Coleman Ford, and Sam Tyson, all DTS grads who overlapped with us in one way or another.
Another is Richard Clark who is co-founder and editor in chief over at Christ and Pop Culture. They just did a sweet re-launch, and now have an interesting podcast to go with their online magazine and stellar weekly blog posts. We were able to sit down and have coffee (for Rich) and Ale-8 (for me) in the seminary coffeeshop. During our talk, I happened to Matt Smethurst as well, who is an associate editor over at The Gospel Coalition, and whose inbox I will be sending book reviews to in the future.
While waiting on my faculty interview, I bumped into Andrew Walker, who works with the ERLC and is also applying to the program. Later, because my interview ran late, I missed meeting up with Mike Leake, but we were able to connect on Saturday after many Twitter @ replies. Along with Tim Challies, he is spearheading a 31 Day Purity Challenge right now that you should probably be involved in. It started Saturday, so you’re not too late if you haven’t heard (plus there will probably be an app later just like Pray For Your Wife).
In the end, it was a pretty great trip. Even I don’t get in this go around, I’m glad I was able to connect with people and spend time with my good buddy Todd. I got pretty good (it’s not Texas) BBQ two meals in a row, and went to Indiana two days in a row, which is a personal record. I also got to check out some pretty sweet indie coffeeshops, eat the best burger in town (at The Holy Grail), and find a nice Mexican dive for next time I’m there.
Plus, I picked the early flight out yesterday morning, and so beat the Icepocalypse that apparently followed shortly behind me. And, I even surprised myself by having the longest conversation with someone on a plane I can remember. Turns out it was a guy who is a town councilman in Louisville, heading with his wife to Houston to M.D. Anderson for her checkup. They go to Southeast Christian in Louisville, which is the church Kyle Idleman (Not A Fan, Gods at War) is at. They were really hospitable and basically offered for me to stay with them next time in town, and even for the 3 week stretches that I would need to be in town if I get into the Ph.D program.
That pretty much puts all the pieces in play, but I’m still not holding my breath. I’ll be slightly anxious until I get something in the mail, and then we’ll just take it from there. First things first though. I need to sit outside and read all day tomorrow and thank God that it’s 80 degrees and sunny and not whatever is going on in Louisville today. Based on the picture below, I’m guessing it won’t involve tanning.