It's been three days since I returned from my most recent Duke intensive, and I am still not quite sure I have recovered. It has been a little harder bouncing back this time, partly because I enjoyed my time there so much. That is a huge change from the last intensive, where I felt underwhelmed and prayed that this was not going to be the norm going forward. This past week our intensive was totally awesome and rivaled our very first session. The instructors were not only knowledgeable, but they were passionate about their disciplines and about engaging us. There's something to be said about going to a Methodist institution where most of the instructors are ordained ministers (Methodist and otherwise) and/or have some pastoral experience. This has made a world of difference, and completely obliterates the dichotomy between academia and ministry. Our time in the classroom was as Spirit-filled as my Sunday morning worship experience, just in different ways.
I cannot say enough how much I appreciate each and every one of my colleagues in my cohort. Our learning community is beloved and we are as interested in learning from each other as we are in learning from our instructors. This took some of our instructors by surprise since that has not always been true for the cohorts that have come before us. They were surprised that we actually like each other and were interested in what our colleagues had to say. What an amazing blessing to be a part of this group. It occurred to me yesterday that bedsides being the only African American woman in my class, I am one of only two people in my class not pastoring or in executive leadership in my ministry context. Wow! It really makes me wonder what lies ahead in God's plan for my life. Great minds sit around the table of my Duke DMin cohort... I'm just so blessed and privileged to be one of them!