I sat before the Theological Review Panel (TRP) on Monday. This committee exists to screen people who have been ordained in other faith traditions who are seeking to transfer that ordination into the ELCA. Their job is to determine that the transfer candidate will accurately and authentically represent the ELCA. That’s a legitimate concern.
It had been one year since the last time we met together. At that meeting they told me that I needed to make sure I was familiar with the Lutheran history and liturgical vernacular and that they would read my entrance exams to the PhD program as a way to determine such things. I took my exams at the end of August and realized that they would not demonstrate anything about my knowledge of Lutheran theology. The questions weren’t crafted in that way. The paper I wrote for The Hermeneutics in Leading in Mission class was about the ELCA and how it could become more missional. I submitted that to the TRP.
Apparently it sufficed. We had a wonderful discussion on Monday and they passed me along to the next level. Now I have to write a twenty-page paper by May 7th and submit it to the Candidacy Committee so that I can have one final “approval” interview on June 7th.
The fact that I have two thirty-page papers due–one for each of my current classes–by May 19th makes the twenty-page paper a little more intense. But, hey, writing papers is what I do these days. 🙂
The journey continues…