As followers of Jesus, we remain lifelong learners. This is also important to the DMG and our partner organization (SIM). In theological education, further studies are always necessary. For me, this is not just about being „up-to-date“, but also about humility and openness. What do I mean by that? I mean that in theological-biblical matters, as a lecturer one should always have questions like: „Where do I take my theological statements from?“ „Why do I read this biblical text in this way?“ „Who or what shaped me?“ „Is there a better way to understand a text? „etc.
In my opinion, this does not only apply to lecturers, but to all of us – but in a special sense to teachers.
In my academic career so far, I have repeatedly seen how studies and new research tasks have helped me to better understand our faith. This is one of the reasons why I love to teach.
In my carpentry training, I had two colleagues (well, all were basically my superiors …), who wanted to open their own carpentry. To do this, however, they first had to do their „masters“.
That’s similar in academic studies. Let me give you an example from Arequipa. The Lutheran seminary here is in the process of being officially accredited right now. With that they can offer a Bachelor-degree. This means that the lecturers must have at least a Master to attend the teaching service. In general, Peru has been tightening its reins since around 2012 and wants to align itself with the international university market.
You could argue that I already have two master’s degrees, so that this is enough for many institutions in Peru, but a lot of people (and the DMG from the very beginning) have encouraged me to look into a PhD program. The advantage of a PhD is that you can lecture worldwide at all theological institutions.
I’ve been intensively investigating topics and institutions for the past two years. Some of you may know that I had already started pursuing a PhD between 2014-2016. During this time, however, some personal reasons to no longer follow this path emerged. But the desire for further education and academic research remained. Since 2016 I also wanted to include a „practical“ component in the research project; that means that my research should have something to do with my work here on site.
After a long time back and forth, I „by chance“ came in contact with a professor in England. The college is accredited by the University of Aberdeen. After several e-mails, talks, prayers and reflections, we decided to officially pursue this path. This means that I am now in the process of applying and enrolling at the university.
The DMG and SIM are completely supportive of this endeavor. There will be additional costs involved (roughly $7,000 per year) and we are very grateful to DMG/SIM for supporting this project. You can use the following way to support us:
Click on the SIM website
„Support a Missionary“
Benjamin Marx 046677
I will do this study part-time and from Arequipa, so that our ministry here can continue. Every year, however, I will be in England/Scotland for three weeks to attend a research conference and to access the latest publications.