Dr. David Alan Black, professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, recently blogged (August 25, 2012) some helpful advice for seminary students who are contemplating pursuing a doctorate. Black’s advice was spurred on by a post by biblioblogger Brian LePort (Near Emmaus) where LePort laments the current realities of finding a biblical studies professorship. Leport writes in his post “You’re going to be an adjunct and it is going to be terrible“:
Right now I am an idiot. I know that there are no jobs in biblical studies. I know that there are people who are far more intelligent than me who will be fighting for those jobs. I know that being a realist means that I may have to settle for adjunct work if I am going to teach somewhere. As Enns said, once you factor all the data regarding adjunct work and the low pay it offers, “….it begins to sound like you are in a pretty stupid line of work.”
Dr. Black’s advice:
My advice to students contemplating a doctorate in biblical studies? Stay focused on Jesus. I sometimes say to them, “Have you gotten sidetracked from your first love, Jesus?” If you hunger and thirst to be His true disciple, He will take care of you vocationally. May I dare you to think outside the box, the “box” being North America? May I challenge you to prayerfully consider using your doctorate to serve Jesus in China or some other nation? It has been done and it is being done. I believe there are a few people reading this blog whom God is perhaps calling to go to the uttermost parts as a fulltime Christian academic. The doors are open. Some may think you are throwing your life away. But obey God, and He will open doors to places where you can be effective and used by Him on the front lines.