Thursday, June 02, 2011

I quit seminary this weekend

This was a tough weekend for me.

I am currently enrolled in two courses in seminary and it just was proving to be too much to handle in my life.  I found myself stressing on school work.  I was being short with my wife.  I wasn't spending time with my kids and this was just the beginning of it!

  • Thursday night I was up till about 11:30pm reading a book that I thought didn't have to be read for another week.  
  • The next morning I was so tired I didn't spend anytime with Jesus (it shows in my attitude when that happens).  
  • All that day on Friday I was short with my wife and kids.
  • I was tired and exhausted from the long hours I had put into school that week.  
  • I knew that night I wasn't going to be able to spend anytime with Charity because I had to finish the book and start writing a 10 page paper.  
  • I was not excited.

I began to process how long I had been working on seminary and doing a cost to benefit ratio.
The cost is high!  Seminary takes a good deal of my time that I could spend with my wife, my kids and my friends.  The benefit will be high when the degree is complete but the immediate tells me that it is not finished.  I started thinking about have I been working on this degree since September 2004. Ya I took an eighteen month break to come serve at South Hills so I have been working on it straight since March 2006.  I have put countless hours into learning: Greek, Hebrew, New Testament, Theology, Practical Ministry Courses and thinking through Church Leadership.  That is when I realized that I am done and I did it.

Friday night I was living in the immediate and that is when I quit seminary.

I woke up Saturday morning and I was comfortable with my decision to quit seminary.  I know that I only have four courses left (two after I complete the ones for summer) but I decided it was time to quit.  I didn't tell anyone about the choice to quit.  I didn't do any homework all day on Saturday or Sunday.

Monday came around and I was feeling much better.  I spent some time reading in the morning, took a break to be with the family and finished my paper Monday night.  I was thankful that I didn't tell anyone I had quit seminary.  As much as I am frustrated with seminary I know that I only have four courses left and I would kick myself if I really quit.  So I am still on track to finish in Spring 2012 and I will have my Masters Degree!


Anonymous said...

Neal, I commend you for doing this, and for not quitting even when you are tempted to. But at the same time, your reasons for wanting to quit are the same reasons I have never started... That decision might come back to bite me later in life, I don't know. But I can not imagine taking that on, good job man! Keep pressing on, the end is near for you!

Anonymous said...

You have a huge target on your back right now! The "evil one" wants to destroy everything that you've been working so hard for. He doesn't want you out there changing people's lives for Christ! Stay strong! Keep fighting! You will get through this and you will honor your family, our community, and especially JESUS for finishing! You have provided so much support for our family... we couldn't imagine the last 1000 days without you. Imagine how many people you will be able to reach when you finish school... YOU ROCK NEAL, and we love you!!!!!!!
Barbara, Shelbie, Drew, Sam... and JOSH Stevens

Neal Benson said...

Thank you so much for the encouragement. Its crazy how school can pile up and make you feel so down. I am so thankful that God has brought us to Vegas to work with students. Charity and I both love what we do; can't imagine doing anything else!
Thanks for your constant support and prayer for us and we push back the darkness and help students find their true identity in Christ.