Monday, January 7, 2013

New student introduction

We're excited to introduce to you some of our new students joining us for the spring semester of  the 2012-13 school year. Today's featured student is Marshall Jones, who is an MA student from Phoenix, Arizona.

My name is Marshall Jones and my Wife, Cathy, and I live and work in Phoenix, Arizona.  Thank you for giving me an opportunity to introduce myself!  I am excited about continuing my formal education by seeking the MA in Religion degree at ESR.  In the first half of life, I received an undergraduate degree in Business (Major: Healthcare Administration) from Oklahoma Baptist University and a MS in Management from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas.  I think of this as practicing educational ecumenism!  

To say that I’m old may be a slight exaggeration but you should know that when I was in school, using a tablet was a reference to the Big Chief Writing Tablet!  Informed in those days by science fiction writers like Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov, I envisioned a future in which technology (aka, gadgets) would gradually dominate a heretofore analog world (see picture below).  In fact, it is this technological evolution that allows me to do the largest proportion of my studies as an ESR Access Student.  Happily, though, I still enjoy pen and paper, books with binding and the personal company of others in community.

At the heart of my personal community is my Wife of 33 years and our 3 wonderful children, Braden, Ryan and Garrett.  Our faith community has always been important and is formed within our lifelong United Methodist connection.  Cathy’s and my work in healthcare (she is a Registered Nurse/Certified Diabetes Educator) is both faith and mission dominated so community and service are central even in our professional roles.

Entering seminary at ESR in this season of life is wondrous.  While I, like others here, always felt a leading to pursue formal vocations in ministry, I don’t regret for a moment the time of preparation, wandering and growing that preceded this particular moment.  I am certain that God in God’s wisdom had a calendar notation that Marshall would enter seminary in 2013!  I am excited about beginning this chapter of life with my fellow ESR seminarians, professors and staff.  I am anxious to learn from all of you and hope to contribute positively to our collective experience as students and friends on the journey.

For the record, I have a tablet-device, a laptop, a Kindle, an endless supply of Moleskins and way too many bags to carry everything in! 

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