Around the first of June every year a number of students begin their journey of formation into pastors or deaconesses. Students travel from all over the United States and some even come from overseas to receive this training to become professional church workers.
On June 12, representatives from various parts of campus life welcomed this year’s Summer School students at the Second Annual Summer School Welcome Party in the Meyer Meadow. Our hostess and host for the evening were the esteemed Mrs. Meyer and Ferdie. Summer School classes are compiled of Fundamental Greek (10 weeks), Christian Doctrine (2 weeks), Old Testament Overview (2 weeks), and New Testament Overview (2 weeks). The Greek students start their classes first while the remaining three courses begin mid July in an every two week sequence until the end of the summer session. The evening started off with a sprinkling of rain, but things cleared up just in time for the festivities to begin. Rev. Kyle Castens was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening introducing Chaplain Stein for an opening prayer. After prayer, Rev. Castens introduced a few faces from Admissions, Enrollment, the Registrar’s office, and current students that our new community members will be interacting with over the coming months.
The current students in attendance provide a real life link to answering honest questions about what is ahead of them. Yes, Greek is hard. Yes, it will challenge you in ways that you never thought you could be challenged. Yes, life as you know it will change. You will grow with your classmates through study sessions, working out in the gym, and various campus events. The student representatives also serve notice that 10 weeks of Greek is a mountain that is conquerable. In some cases we are the voice of reason when it comes to how important learning the biblical languages is to their formation. Did you know the success rate of formation students who take 10 weeks of Fundamental Greek is 99.1%?
Midway through the night Rev. Castens introduced the “Skipper” who would navigate these formation students through the sometimes stormy waters of Summer Greek. Dr. Jeffrey Oschwald has taken on the task of being that “Skipper” and he quickly provided them with sage advice, “Do stay up late celebrating, there will be work to do tomorrow.”
By my count there were 16 Greek students in attendance. Some brought wives and children as well. At the end of their 10 weeks all will understand various sayings like the following:
“Greek is a thinking man’s language”
“Greek is like drinking water through a fire hose”
“Greek makes grown men cry”
“Parsing will save your life”
“<insert any word here> comes from two Greek words”
There were other things that happen that night like meeting new people, roasting marshmallows, and the kids feeding Ferdie an awful lot of graham crackers.
At the time of this blog posting the Summer Greek students have completed their first week and have nine more to go. At the end of their journey they can and will participate in the time honored tradition of jumping in the campus fountain. If any of the students are reading this just take a gander of some of your predecessors…