A New Spiritual Challenge

Date: 25 Aug 2014 Comments: 0

It appears as though I am on the verge of yet another spiritual growth challenge. As anyone who has read my blog much would know, I once attended Liberty University as I attempted to get my Master of Divinity. I ultimately did not complete this degree because the cost of the degree would never pay itself back with the salary potential I could make from being a pastor. Furthermore, I don’t really feel like God is calling me into pastoral roles at the moment or maybe at all because He has other things in line for me. Well, I somehow knew that my history with Liberty was not over.

No, I am not going back after my M.Div, my beloved wife has forbidden me to pursue any further academic pursuits for the time being :). However, when I began pursuing my Masters in Cyber Security from the University of Maryland University College, the primary purpose (other than giving myself new skills to use for employment) was to make it so that I could be a full fledged teacher. I have been a volunteer teacher in many ways and I feel that I am gifted as a teacher and those who work with me in ESL classes tend to agree.

So, on a hopeful whim, I applied for many different online adjunct teaching positions including my Alma Mater UMUC. Liberty University has an adjunct professor position open in their Cyber Security classes so I went about completing the very detailed application process. I had to provide them with a resume, a curriculum vitae, 3 professional letters of recommendation, 2 academic letters or recommendation, copies of all my transcripts, a teaching philosophy, and even a pastoral reference letter. Thanks to all of my good friends and co-workers who assisted me, I have been moved up the chain! I am supposed to schedule a WebEx conference this week to be interviewed for the position. However, in the email they actually addressed me as ‘Professor Shields” which is a title I have never been called outside of the ESL classes and even that is more honorific than professional. That makes me think that as long as I ace this interview, I am in.

I can’t explain how excited I am that God has opened YET ANOTHER door for me to do something that is meaningful, will help me to grow spiritually, and let’s me use this degree very shortly after I paid to earn it. God’s timing and HIS plan is always amazing! If I can earn some years of working as a professor in online classes, I can develop a tenure. Tenured professors usually have great luck getting in to full time academic work. Will I ever fully give up professional employment in  pursuit of academic? Maybe if the time was right and I felt like the work was something that I actually did well in on a professional level then I certainly could go that route. But for now, I am just grateful that God will give me another chance to use one of the gift’s he’s given me.

Now I need to say this so as not to provide false information. I am not guaranteed this position. I have not been selected yet. What I do feel, however, is that I am on the right track. Keep watching my blog and IF I am selected for this position, I will let you all know.


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