STUDENT SUCCESS & An Explanation of DMin Post-seminar Assignment Parameters for 2017

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 7/24/17.

Post-seminar assignment

  1.         Personal Bible, History and Theology Paper.  (250 points)

Write a 14-22 page paper (covering insights from both courses) demonstrating that you are conversant in the key biblical/historical/theological source material regarding leadership and application.

  1.   Explain your developing understanding of:
  • A biblical, historical and theological understanding of one of more of the following leadership topics as relevant to your leadership:
  • Wesley’s leadership,
  • renewal leadership
  • and/or multiplication leadership.

PROF B > Basically pick one or more of the “leadership topics” (Wesley’s leadership, renewal leadership and/or multiplication leadership) and for each one have three sections.

EXAMPLE > Let’s use “renewal leadership” as an example (though you might choose a different one or two of the others). The first section will describe your developing biblical understanding of “renewal leadership.” The second section will describe your developing historical understanding of “renewal leadership.” And the third section will describe your developing theological understanding of “renewal leadership.”

  • Tell how this understanding will inform your plan for transformational leadership (i.e. in the following Student Analysis Paper).

PROF B > Explain in each section how that section will impact your plan (in the next paper).

  1.  Synthesize key biblical, historical and theological issues with organizational understandings into a practical, historically consistent and theologically valid process model for bringing about effective Wesleyan, renewal and/or multiplication leadership in your ministry.

PROF B > A process model (which I am sure all understand by now) is a “model” or “plan” that will take place over time (hence a “process model”). This plan here describes how your developing understanding of the bible, theology and history will impact your application plan. So this assignment basically describes how you will keep relevant aspects of bible, theology and history impacting your application paper (the next assignment). So, show me a plan that you will use throughout your ministry that will keep relevant bible, theology and history aspects impacting your application plan (which is the next paper).

EXAMPLE: Perhaps you will begin a monthly reading as some of Wesley’s journals, i.e. passages that relate to one of the three topics mentioned above. Or perhaps you will delve into what the Bible says about multiplication in a personal Bible study you have with friends. Or you may decide that every six weeks you will interview a pastor turnaround church church and glean ideas. Basically you need to show a plan to keep the bible, church history and theology central in your growth as a transformational leader and in your foundation for transforming an organization

  1.  Use a title page, abstract, appendixes and citation pages (which do not count toward page totals).
  2.  Student Analysis Paper (250 points)

Write a 22-36 page paper (covering insights from both courses) proposing a strategy for applying Wesley’s leadership methodologies, renewal leadership and/or multiplication leadership for a specific ministry challenge in your ministry. Utilize the following sections (which may each be of varying length):

PROF B > This is basically your organizational plan. You want to take the ideas from your first paper and now show the practical plans that grow out of them regarding either Wesley’s leadership methodologies, renewal leadership and/or multiplication leadership.

Section 1: Describe your level of skill as a transformational leader in the areas of Wesley’s methodologies, renewal and/or multiplication along with a personal plan for growth.  Though your level of skill as in these areas has been broached in your pre-seminar paper, do not cut-and-paste ideas from the pre-seminar work.  Instead reedit, improve and expand ideas from your pre-seminar work.  Also, section 1 in this post-seminar paper must add a robust and detailed personal plan for growth.

PROF B > Be very careful of plagiarism here. You don’t want to just cite what you did from your pre-seminar paper (or even what you did for one of the doctoral courses last year). In this section you should analyze your skill as a transformational leader and how it has changed since you’ve been in England and in these online discussions.

ASSESSMENT > This section will be in each of your papers and give you a chance to evaluate how you improved from before the live seminar (this year in England) and even allow comparison between years, i.e. how your skill has changed since last year.

Section 2:  Upon the biblical, historical and theological foundations from your previous paper build a detailed strategy selection, implementation and outcomes that cites the impact of bible, history and theology upon your plan.

PROF B > Don’t restate sections from your previous paper, but rather use short phrases and citations to describe how the Bible, church history and theology will impact each of your strategic plans in this paper. Thus, you don’t want to restate entire sections of the previous paper. That can be perceived as padding by professors, meaning that you are filling up the paper with previous work to reach your page total. I know you would not do that. But, I want to make you aware that that can be a perception and we don’t want that when you go before your projects committee.

Ensure that this process model synthesizes both key theological issues and important organizational concepts.

PROF B > Again site relevant theological issues and don’t overlook them. Sometimes theological issues get overlooked because it’s easier to talk about historical issues and biblical issues.

Also, demonstrate how this outcome has emerged from an understanding codified in your Personal Bible/history/theological Paper.

PROF B > Again, it should be clear how the Bible, history and theology have impacted your plan and made it better. Use short phrases and appropriate citations to show your plan is tied back to a solid biblical, historical and theological undersanding.

WIDE BREADTH OF SCHOLARSHIP > I think you all are aware by the time you get to a doctoral level that you are supposed to be siting dozens of relevant primary sources in your papers. Sometimes students will cite as source and use it only once in your paper. If the source is really that good and it should be reoccurring in your paper many times. Your paper should be a clear example that you have taken various series and the ologies and created from them a new and exciting way strategic plan for your ministry. That is why you’re required to read 4000 pages because it is assumed that most of those books will make their way into your paper. Remember, the paper is an example of you taking what great scholars have said about your topics and apply them to your local situation. So it’s important that you demonstrate that you have a broad knowledge of Scholarship buy respective academics regarding the plans you are proposing.

CHURCHHEALTH.WIKI & The DISCUSSION FORUM PURPOSE > As I know you all are aware, you can find on my wiki dozens and dozens of articles: not just on topics from our courses, but also on APA formatting, how many citations to use, etc. Go there for the answers and if you can’t find them there then crowd-source them in your discussion forum. Chances are a previous student has asked a similar question at one time and I’ve answered it there. In fact, I will put this entire elaborated description of your assignment on ChurchHealth.wiki so you are have access to it anytime you need it.

FORUMS > And so, the forums are a place to go deeper in your application more than asking questions about the assignments. You certainly can and should do the latter in the forums, but that’s not its primary purpose. Its primary purpose is to take everything that you’re putting into your paper and allow your cohort-mates to help you focus it, find more citations and make it more likely to succeed.

Use due dates, delegation responsibilities, timelines, PERT charts, etc.

PROF B > Finally, don’t forget to use appendices to include charts, timelines and plans such as PERT charts. You want to create a visual representation that you might use to show what you’re proposing to your leaders. This will also prepare you for your final DMIN project when a visual plan will be a an important part of your Dr. of Ministry project. See more about appendices in the finaly paragraph below.

Appendixes:  Include in this paper an 11 x 17 diagram mapping the student’s transformational leadership process with suggested due dates, delegation procedures, accountability networks, and triggers that will move the process forward toward an effective conclusion.  Footnote this process model with brief descriptions of relevant theological thought that have informed each stage of one’s process model.  Note:  Use a title page, abstract, appendixes and citation pages (which do not count toward page totals).

#DMin

 

STUDENT SUCCESS & Don’t Use the First Resource That Pops Up in a Google Search

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Sometimes several students will cite the same outside resource, because it appears near the top of a Google search.  Many times this can be a relevant article. But other times, it may not be.

Let me give an example with a hint for student success.

I ask students to find scholarly research that explains the “difference between primary and secondary research.”  Usually, a handful of students will cite https://www.thebalance.com (an advertising agency). The advertising agency is not juried (i.e. does not have an editorial board of scholars verifying their explanation is reliable and valid).  But, they do correctly identify the difference between primary and secondary research.

Therefore, should students use such a source?

YES:  If students are using this source to verify that practitioners agree with scholars on the differences between primary and secondary research. This would be acceptable.

NO: If students are using these practitioners as a source of reliable and valid information in an academic course, a scholarly source should probably be utilized instead.

If you are unsure about a source, find out about their background and if they have scholarly degrees (masters or doctoral) and/or have a scholarly editorial board, they would be considered scholars. (Though there are different levels of scholarship.)

In the example above, students could find out about the ad agency’s background by clicking on the “about us” link: https://www.thebalance.com/about-us. There students could find that while they are practitioners, they’re not scholars (and it’s not juried by an editorial board).

The problem arises because in a Google search for the “difference between primary and secondary research” this link often pops up near the top. However remember, in graduate school (a research-based school) you should not choose an outside source based upon popularity, but based upon scholarship.

While I always try to be gracious and give students some leeway early on in our course, I cannot do so later in the course. Student resources should increasingly be scholarly and therefore for fairness I will usually grade down a little bit more each week for non-scholarly sources.

My students understand that fairness and academic veracity require this. It makes their degree worth more and their learning more valuable.

STUDENT SUCCESS & My Grading Policies w/ More Examples of Outstanding Work

(from one of my recent syllabi)

Grading Policies

Your grading policy for your course is dependent on your school and program.  Your grading policies can be found in the IWU Catalog.

Discussions

In most workshops, there are discussion forums.  These discussions focus on either a special topic or general material from the workshop.  You will be given instructions on which discussion forums apply to the current workshop.  Complete discussions individually or in study groups as instructed. Well-thought-out postings that add something intellectually to the discussion are required for a good grade. Your initial postings should fully answer the questions posed in the course interface.  Additionally, you must reply to at least two of your classmate’s postings. Postings of the “I agree” or “Me too” variety will not suffice.

In these weekly discussions conduct some outside reading in a minimum of two to three books to support your observations. This might include a Bible commentary, other books on this topic, etc.  Customarily the graduate school student is expected to be skimming a minimum of several outside books each week and bring them into, when helpful, the online conversation.  Also bring into the conversation relevant ideas from your other course textbooks.  Thus, each week the student should be bringing into the online conversation one to two textbooks and two to three outside references as a minimum.

Also be sure to reply to any followup questions posted by your instructor. These are designed to help you dig deeper into application and theory.

End-of-week Papers

Most weeks an end-of-week paper will be due by Thursday 11:59pm. Like your discussions these end-of-week papers should cite relevant outside readings which support your observations. Similar to the discussion parameters, the graduate school student is expected at a minimum to be skimming several outside books each week and bringing them to bear upon their weekly papers (with citations).  Also, don’t forget to bring into your papers relevant ideas from other course textbooks.

And, unless specified differently by your professor, your end-of-week papers should comply with APA formatting rules and include an abstract.

An Expectation of Outside Scholarship

Therefore for B level work, the student should each week be utilizing and citing in their weekly papers and discussion forums, one to two textbooks and two to three outside references.  Remember however, this is for B level work.  A person seeking a higher grade would be expected to do better.

Letter Grade Equivalencies

Grade
Description of Work

A
Clearly stands out as excellent performance. Has unusually sharp insights into material and initiates thoughtful questions. Sees many sides of an issue. Articulates well and writes logically and clearly. Integrates ideas previously learned from this and other disciplines. Anticipates next steps in progression of ideas. Example “A” work should be of such nature that it could be put on reserve for all cohort members to review and emulate. The “A” cohort member is, in fact, an example for others to follow. Typical interaction will be 3+ times in each forum.

B
Demonstrates a solid comprehension of the subject matter and always accomplishes all course requirements. Serves as an active participant and listener. Communicates orally and in writing at an acceptable level for the degree program. Work shows intuition and creativity. Example “B” work indicates good quality of performance and is given in recognition for solid work; a “B” should be considered a good grade and awarded to those who submit assignments of quality less than the exemplary work described above. Typical interaction will be 3+ times in each forum.

C
Quality and quantity of work in and out of class is average. Has marginal comprehension, communication skills, or initiative. Requirements of the assignments are addressed at least minimally. Typical interaction will be 3 or fewer times in each forum.

D
Quality and quantity of work is below average. Has minimal comprehension, communication skills, or initiative. Requirements of the assignments are addressed at below acceptable levels. Typical interaction will be two or fewer times in each forum.

F
Quality and quantity of work is unacceptable and does not qualify the student to progress to a more advanced level of work.

STUDENT SUCCESS & Helping Other Students Not Only Aids Them, But Increases Your Score Too

by Bob Whitesel, D.Min., Ph.D., 4/19/17

Students often ask how to score well in an online discussion posting. And though the parameters for each letter grade are spelled out in great detail in the syllabus (and I’ve posted them again below) students often want examples.

Here are examples: one is a student’s posting about a “worship disaster” followed by two examples of responses. The first is a poor example of a response and the second is a good example.

Situation of Student X:

…My pastor decided to add a service on Wednesdays at 6:30pm.  I would not call it a disaster, but definitely a failure. We had already added a third service on Sunday mornings and we just did not have enough room to accommodate all the worshippers. The solution that leadership tried to implement was to add a Wednesday evening service which would allow for more newcomers. The service was from 7pm to 8:30 pm.

The mistake was adding the Wednesday evening service. The reason it was a failure is because adding the Wednesday service did not do what was it was supposed to do. Most of the people who attended to Wednesday service were people who already normally attended church on Sunday. I believe it is important that we deal with our mistakes as individuals and as the church…

Response of Student 1 (a poor example)

_____StudentName____, that certainly is a difficult situation. I know that Charles Arn has some good insights in his book about how to start a new service. You might want to take a look there and see what which of his ideas might be helpful.

Response of Student 2 (a better example)

_____StudentName____, I am sorry to hear about the failure of this mid-week service. It seems to me, though, by the way you described how normal Sunday service attenders would come on Wednesday nights that maybe there was not a specific group that the church was trying to reach with this service and it was seen by the congregants as an additional time for them, not for non-attenders.

It may have been more effective if the leadership would have placed an emphasis on the service being either for a select generational, or even spiritual group as discussed in Charles Arn’s book How to Start a New Service (1997). By focusing the service on a select group there could have been mitigation and buy-in from the regular attenders that the new service was to reach new people…

Arn, C. (1997). How to start a new service your church can reach new people. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.


My (Dr. Whitesel’s) response:

What Student 2 did right:

I agree with Student 2. I think the problem was that a specific outreach group wasn’t identified. And then as Student B simply stated, congregants felt it was just another requirement on their already busy volunteer schedule.

Student 2 helped Student X with the following suggestion, “Seems to me, though, by the way you described how normal Sunday service attenders would come on Wednesday nights that maybe there was not a specific group that the church was trying to reach with this service and it was seen by the congregants as an additional time for them, not for non-attenders. It may have been more effective if the leadership would have placed an emphasis on the service being either for a select generational, or even spiritual group as discussed in Charles Arn’s book How to Start a New Service (1997).”

This is the type of posting graduate students will want to utilize in their online conversations. Student 2 found reliable and valid scholarly insights on Student X’s situation and shared those with her.

The result was it not only helped the Student X, but it also helped me the professor see that Student A understood the principles of Dr. Arn’s book.

What Student 1 did wrong:

Student 1 didn’t share any ideas from Dr. Arn’s book, but rather just referred the student to it. Student 1 had probably read Dr. Arn’s book and knew it would be helpful. But as the professor, I have no evidence that Student 1 knew what was in the book.

So if a student simply points to a book for the solutions, it doesn’t earn many points. That is because it’s not clear to the professor if they have read more than the cover of the book. Now, I know that the vast majority of my students have read these books, but for fairness to all students I must see written proof that they know and can apply the principles in the books they cite. And the best way to do that is to help others.

So it’s a win-win. First, Student 2’s type of posting helps the person to whom the student is responding (Student X). And second, it demonstrates to the professor that the responder (Student 2) understands the scholarship on the subject at hand.


From one of my syllabi:

Grading Policies

Your grading policy for your course is dependent on your school and program.  Your grading policies can be found in the IWU Catalog.

Discussions

In most workshops, there are discussion forums.  These discussions focus on either a special topic or general material from the workshop.  You will be given instructions on which discussion forums apply to the current workshop.  Complete discussions individually or in study groups as instructed. Well-thought-out postings that add something intellectually to the discussion are required for a good grade. Your initial postings should fully answer the questions posed in the course interface.  Additionally, you must reply to at least two of your classmate’s postings. Postings of the “I agree” or “Me too” variety will not suffice.

In these weekly discussions conduct some outside reading in a minimum of two to three books to support your observations. This might include a Bible commentary, other books on this topic, etc.  Customarily the graduate school student is expected to be skimming a minimum of several outside books each week and bring them into, when helpful, the online conversation.  Also bring into the conversation relevant ideas from your other course textbooks.  Thus, each week the student should be bringing into the online conversation one to two textbooks and two to three outside references as a minimum.

Also be sure to reply to any followup questions posted by your instructor. These are designed to help you dig deeper into application and theory.

Initial posts are due by Tuesday 11:59pm.  Follow up posts are due by Thursday 11:59pm.

End-of-week Papers

Most weeks an end-of-week paper will be due by Thursday 11:59pm. Like your discussions these end-of-week papers should cite relevant outside readings which support your observations. Similar to the discussion parameters, the graduate school student is expected at a minimum to be skimming several outside books each week and bringing them to bear upon their weekly papers (with citations).  Also, don’t forget to bring into your papers relevant ideas from other course textbooks.

And, unless specified differently by your professor, your end-of-week papers should comply with APA formatting rules and include an abstract.

An Expectation of Outside Scholarship

Therefore for B level work, the student should each week be utilizing and citing in their weekly papers and discussion forums, one to two textbooks and two to three outside references.  Remember however, this is for B level work.  A person seeking a higher grade would be expected to do better.

Letter Grade Equivalencies

Grade
Description of Work

A
Clearly stands out as excellent performance. Has unusually sharp insights into material and initiates thoughtful questions. Sees many sides of an issue. Articulates well and writes logically and clearly. Integrates ideas previously learned from this and other disciplines. Anticipates next steps in progression of ideas. Example “A” work should be of such nature that it could be put on reserve for all cohort members to review and emulate. The “A” cohort member is, in fact, an example for others to follow. Typical interaction will be 3+ times in each forum.

B
Demonstrates a solid comprehension of the subject matter and always accomplishes all course requirements. Serves as an active participant and listener. Communicates orally and in writing at an acceptable level for the degree program. Work shows intuition and creativity. Example “B” work indicates good quality of performance and is given in recognition for solid work; a “B” should be considered a good grade and awarded to those who submit assignments of quality less than the exemplary work described above. Typical interaction will be 3+ times in each forum.

C
Quality and quantity of work in and out of class is average. Has marginal comprehension, communication skills, or initiative. Requirements of the assignments are addressed at least minimally. Typical interaction will be 3 or fewer times in each forum.

D
Quality and quantity of work is below average. Has minimal comprehension, communication skills, or initiative. Requirements of the assignments are addressed at below acceptable levels. Typical interaction will be two or fewer times in each forum.

F
Quality and quantity of work is unacceptable and does not qualify the student to progress to a more advanced level of work.

STUDENT SUCCESS & Why Asking Questions of Other Students is Not the Application Goal of a Seminary

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 3/30/17.

Seminaries are so-called “professional schools.” That puts them in the category with Business Schools which offer MBA degrees.  In seminaries we typically offer ecclesial-orientated, but similiar degrees: MDiv, MA and DMin. These are professional degrees, which means that the students are usually already engaged in their profession and are honing their skills.

Therefore, students are expected to weekly be “applying” what they are learning to their profession in professional schools, such as business schools and seminaries. For example, in a MBA Business School program a student might investigate how to apply an innovate financial model to their business and report back to their professor the applicability.

Papers should describe application plans.

Seminary is the same way.  Students are expected to:

  • Take what they are learning each week
  • “apply” it to their ministry,
  • Then report back to fellow students and their professor.

This is why our end-of-week papers are customarily called “Application Papers,” because they describe how the student would “apply” to their profession what they learned that week.

Discussions also should describe application ideas, not just ask questions.

For students to earn points in professional school discussions, they should do more than just ask questions of the other students. Often times students do this because they see the professor asking questions. However the professor’s role is different: she or he is there to probe the thinking and depth of understanding of the students. Other students can do this as well, but it doesn’t demonstrate to the professor that the student is understand the content. It only demonstrates that the other students can ask questions.

To earn points for discussions in a professional school,

  • Students look up research that can help the other students
  • Then “apply” that research to the other student’s context.

Here is an example:

A student stated that he thought small groups create intimacy in larger churches.  And, he asked a fellow student, who pastored a large church, if this was the case.  The large church pastor did not utilize small groups and thus did not reply.

However in a professional school, students do not earn points by asking questions, but by giving application solutions.

Let’s go back to our example.  The student’s thesis, that small groups create intimacy in larger churches, is easily supportable from research by various scholars. He could start with the “Reveal Study” that was conducted at Bill Hybel’s church.

So, to earn points for application:

  1. The student finds research on how large churches can maintain intimacy as they grow.  The student might discover that small groups help with this.
  2. Then the student shares his/her  research-supportable findings with fellow students.
  3. Finally, the student explains (and cites) some “tools” or mechanisms for fostering small groups in a large church environment. Results are …
    • The large church pastor would benefit from the application insights in the “tools” suggested.
    • And, the student would demonstrate to the professor that she/he was conversant in scholarly research and application on the topic at hand.

STUDENT SUCCESS & How to Find Scholarly Articles if You Are a @WesleySeminary Student #OCLS

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Sometimes my students have difficulty locating scholarly journal articles. This is because not all scholarly articles have yet to be catalogued by search engines such as Google. However, if you are a Wesley Seminary student we have provided you a quick and easy way to access almost every scholarly journal that has been published. This service is called Off-campus Library Services (OCLS). Here is how they explain the process for downloading (free to Wesley Seminary students) the following article:

Hagley, S.J. (2008, September 1). [Review of the book Organizational change: Theory and practice, by W.W. Burke]. Journal of Religious Leadership 7, no. 2 125-128. 3 pp.

Begin forwarded message:
Date: February 15, 2017 at 7:52:01 PM EST
To: “Whitesel, Bob” <Bob.Whitesel@indwes.edu>

Bob,
Thank you for contacting OCLS. Due to Federal Copyright Law restrictions, we are not able to provide a copy of any article to you for you to distribute to your students. They will need to individually contact us for any articles they need.

However, this particular article is available through our site.

You/they will need to start on the OCLS homepage, www2.indwes.edu/ocls, and click on “Journal Titles” from the “Key Links” section.

In the search box, type in the name of the journal, which is Journal of Religious Leadership, and click on “Search.”

You/they will see that there is only one database through which we have access to this journal: ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. Click on the link for that database.

Once you’ve clicked on the database link, you/they will be taken to a new screen. Select “+2008” from the list of years under the “All Issues” section on the far right.

Then select “Volume 7 Issue 2 – Fall 2008.” Scroll down the list of articles from that issue and the one you/they need is number 8. Click on “PDF Full Text” to read the article.

If you or your students have any questions, please let us know. Thank you and have a wonderful evening!

OFF CAMPUS LIBRARY SERVICES

INDIANA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY
NATIONAL AND GLOBAL CAMPUS
4201 S. WASHINGTON ST
MARION  IN  46953
1-800-521-1848 | 765-677-2682 (LOCAL) | 765-677-2767 (FAX)
HTTP://WWW2.INDWES.EDU/FORMS/REQUEST.ASPX (EMAIL)

WWW.INDWES.EDU/OCLS  |  HOURS:8-8, M-TH; 8-5, F; 9:30-2, SAT (GMT-5)

STUDENT SUCCESS & Are You a Degree-seeking Student or a Knowledge-seeking One?

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 10/27/16.

Over the years I’ve noticed many students gravitating towards one of two academic cliques. Not all students will gravitate to one or the other, but many will. My observations have led me to believe connecting with one group in lieu of the other is more beneficial for long-term professional impact. I’m talking about the difference between those who seek a degree and those who seek knowledge. Let me explain a few differences.

The purpose for going to school:

The degree-seeking student is often encouraged to go to school because of a family or professional expectation. Their goal is to get the degree, which they hope will open professional doors. Often times those doors don’t open because, while they possess the degree, their knowledge is weakly formed.

Knowledge-seeking students usually go to school because they have a propensity towards being a creative learner. They want to learn new concepts and apply them in new ways. They are innovative and in brace past knowledge as a foundation upon which to build new insights. They believe they can change the way their profession behaves.

Hanging out:

The degree-seeking student usually hangs out with other similarly oriented students with conversations about the benefits or lack of benefits of the degree. Similarly, they tend to be more critical of the process, because they want to hurry through the academic journey to get the goal towards which they strive: the degree. It is not uncommon to hear them complaining about due dates, level of depth expected by the professor and all sorts of seemingly unfair academic expectations that slow them in their progress to a degree.

Knowledge-seeking students see academia as a challenge and understand that extra work can result in extra knowledge. They don’t add citations to assignments simply because they want to pad the assignment. Instead they absorb knowledge from from a broad reading base, upon which to craft new ways to think about their homework topics. They look forward to input from the professor and often engage in dialogue about the topic with their professor at off hours.

Unlike the degree-seeking student that may engage their professor with complaints about why the process is not easier or quicker: the knowledge-seeking student usually engages the professor with questions and ideas about how the topic can be investigated and applied better.

The lure of the cliques:

Similar to the Jets and the Sharks in West Side Story, there’s a tendency for the nonaffiliated students to be pulled into one of these groups. It is evident from what I have written here, that I believe one of these groups better serves the student and the Academy. But many students do not affiliate with either, preferring to just get through the program with a modicum of knowledge.

Yet, I believe today we need more students who are dedicated to investigating, synthesizing and forming new understandings about our world. Our great Creator has given us many mysteries and applications to solve. And I believe He has provided the relationship of the mentor and mentee as one way to discover it.