Image via WikipediaYesterday I talked about the two most scary questions in moving to Texas to attend seminary : "Where would we live?" and "How would we support ourselves financially?". I covered our housing yesterday and I'll cover our finances in this post.
Everyone that we've spoken to here at seminary has a different take on making it financially. Several people that we have met have had enough money from the sale of their homes to be able to come and live without working (especially folks that are coming for a two year program). We sold our home and had enough money to be debt free but not enough to live without working.
So the questions became "Could we make it working part-time and going to school full-time or working full-time and going to school part-time or do I work full-time and go to school full-time?".
Then there is the question of "Could we get support from our church, friends and/or family?". There is a strong feeling at DTS that churches and family should support seminary students. We all would love that to be possible, but many people (myself included) come from smaller churches. But it is important to remember to not say no for your church, family or friends. A lot of people have told me that financial support may come from some of the most surprising places or people and that it's up to the Holy Spirit to move people's hearts. We have planned our money as closely as possible but God has done a lot of amazing things to supply our needs.
My job situation has been scary but God has provided amazingly. I hope to be able to share some amazing stuff by early next week. But even with a full-time job money isn't overly plentiful so it is important to be frugal and diligent in keeping up with the bills.
One important thing that I want to mention is to suggest that anyone going to seminary try as hard as they can to come out of seminary debt free. Pay for it along the way - pray hard about this. You don't want to come to the end of 2 or 4 years and owe more than you can make in a ministry position - that will making serving difficult(er).
Again like I said yesterday, don't let any of this scare you away. Wait for God to open the doors and wait for God to give you and your spouse the desire to attend seminary. Be patient and know that he will use this situation of getting to seminary or getting to anywhere in life to build our faith in him. He will use circumstances to grow you in the ways that you need to grow in life. Welcome the challenges and let them build your faith in a Heavenly Father that loves you more than you can imagine!