How Did I Get Here?
I went to my (cough cough)-th reunion at Georgetown University last week. While at a Soul Hoyas mixer, I was talking with some of the (very) young alumni. When I mentioned that I teach Howard University School of Divinity, they wanted to know how I went from an BS in international affairs to a PhD in biblical studies.
Here’s the short version:
As a high school senior, I chose the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown, because I couldn’t decide if I wanted to study history, government, or political science. Majoring in international affairs gave me a broad range of fields of study. After my junior year, I completed a summer study abroad program in France. Although I had a fantastic time and passed my language proficiency exam, I realized that I was more interested in domestic policy. When I returned to the U.S., I began to apply to graduate programs in public policy.
After graduating from Georgetown, I completed the MPA at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. I worked in health care policy for a few years, but I didn’t enjoy it. After a quarter-life crisis, I enrolled in the MDiv at Pacific School of Religion. In my first semester, I fell in love with biblical studies, which led me to Princeton Theological Seminary where I completed my PhD in Old Testament.
I know that many students are under increasing pressure to choose a “practical” undergraduate major. I am fortunate that my parents allowed me to choose a major that interested me.
My current career is not directly related to my undergraduate major. Nevertheless, my time at Georgetown provided me with enduring friendships, shaped me as an individual in immeasurable ways, and started me on an exciting and fulfilling personal and professional journey.