After years of thought, internet scouring, research, emails, research proposal writing and discussion, I am finally "in" a Ph.D. program. I now sit with a blinking cursor, and a few pages of text written on what may be the beginnings of my dissertation. The program I will be undertaking, should the Lord allow, is a Ph.D. program at the Free University of Amsterdam. I will be researching how Christians in the first and second century handled pastoral care and counseling of families. This will be a large task, as there will be several avenues that I will have to explore in order to answer the thesis question. Background into Graeco-roman families, original writings of the early church, diving into ancient languages, etc., and all in order to find an answer and prove a hypothesis regarding counseling in the early church.
Along the way, I hope my studies will benefit my own thinking, counseling, preaching and Biblical study and will be a source of encouragement. I am excited to plunge into the writings of brothers of a bygone era again (Patristics). Reading the documents of the early church was so moving for me when I was in seminary. I look forward to scouring them line by line once more. In the meantime, family and church come first (no, really, they do), which means I'll be undertaking this project for years to come! Following the European model for doctoral research, I'll be staying where I am, researching, writing, and communicating with my supervisors, and continuing to live life. No other plans-just some focused study in my "free time".
I hope in the coming days to post regularly a snippet of the research on here, perhaps to benefit the reader, but also to keep me working at a steady pace.