The fall of 2012 was a pause in doctoral studies at Southern Seminary, a break known as an “interrupted status.” But in 2013 things were back in full swing. Here’s the breakdown on Semester #5.
I completed my 4 goals for the Spring 2013:
- Take and pass Comprehensive Exams, which consists of 3 major tests administered at a certain time for all doctoral students who are at that stage in their program. Different professors prepare exams relevant to the student’s areas of study. In my case, Dr Plummer gave me a Greek exam, Dr Hamilton gave me an Old Testament theology exam, and Dr Schreiner gave me a New Testament theology exam. I took (and passed!) these exams in March, and I studied for many, many weeks in advance to prepare for them. What a relief to have them behind me now!
- Secure my Dissertation Committee. This is a group of 3 people (one of whom is my supervisor) who will read my final dissertation draft. Before my graduation I must defend my dissertation before this committee of faculty members. I am very blessed to have Jim Hamilton, Rob Plummer, and Peter Gentry as the members of this Committee. A team of academic Avengers has assembled!
- Write, submit, and receive formal approval for my Prospectus. The Prospectus is the research proposal, an explanation and justification for the dissertation idea one has. Quite a bit of research goes into forming a Prospectus, so the hope is that it will be approved and thus the prior research be vindicated! My dissertation interest centers around Daniel 12:2, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” I aim to show that Daniel’s words of resurrection hope are rooted in prior Old Testament texts and concepts extended as far back as Genesis, and I want to show how Daniel’s words were influential in shaping the resurrection language of the New Testament authors. The title of the dissertation will be “Resurrection Hope in Daniel 12:2: An Exercise in Biblical Theology.” I turned in my Prospectus just under the wire, and it was accepted!
- Take a 4-day seminar called “Teaching Principles and Methods.” In the PhD program there are three mini-seminars required, one on Graduate Research, one on Higher Education, and one on Teaching Principles and Methods. This was my last of the mini seminars. It was enjoyable being back in the classroom again, because I’ve been officially done with semester-long coursework for a year now, but equally delightful is the fact that I’ve now completed every degree requirement except the dissertation. That status is affectionately abbreviated ABD.
With the fifth semester at SBTS now behind me, and with only the dissertation in front of me, I should be writing during every free moment I can get my hands on! In the months ahead, I can’t afford to have extraneous written words unrelated to my topic–which means I need to find a way to fit this blog post into a footnote.