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August 26, 2010 / Meg

M.Div. Orientation: Day 1

Today was the first day of orientation for my master’s program and it was phenomenal!  I was blown away.  They don’t call this a top notch institution for nothin’…

The Goodson Chapel (different from the acutal Duke Chapel. This chapel is used primarily for worship for Duke Divinity students. It is right next door to Duke Chapel though! You can actually see Duke Chapel in the background.)

We started today with a worship service in Duke Divinity School’s Goodson Chapel and it was simply awesome.  A third year student was nominated by her peers to preach, and let me tell you: it was one of the best sermons I’ve heard.  She was absolutely fantastic.

It was amazing how many students, faculty, and staff members told us that they had been praying for us.  When I was going through the whole process of discerning which seminary I should attend, I always imagined my family and close friends and local clergy had been praying for me.  I remember at all of my interviews people said they were praying for me, which was so wonderful.  But it’s amazing how many people that you don’t even realize are lifting you up in prayer.  Pretty humbling.  It made me so happy to be a part of the community at Duke Divinity.  And so grateful for all of those people–at many different seminaries–who had been praying for me throughout this journey.

We then broke into our spiritual formation groups.  These are the people I will meet with on a weekly basis throughout my entire first year.  Our leader is a local UMC pastor who is a Duke Divinity alum from a few years back.  He’s energetic and personable and seems like a fantastic guy.  I’m pumped.  I think I’ll check out his church sometime soon!

Then we talked about scheduling, which seems like foreign territory to me.  I somehow always ended up with a pretty decent schedule in undergrad, despite the chaos of scheduling freshman year.  I have my ideal schedule laid out with a bunch of alternates, but it’s going to be tricky to fit some work hours in there.  Oh, and did I mention I got a job?  I’ll be working at the Duke Career Center.  More details on that in another post.

We ended the day with a convocation for all incoming Duke graduate students at Duke Chapel.  Seeing all of the deans of the grad schools in their doctoral gear sooooo made me want to get a PhD!  The one lady had her undergrad from MIT, a PhD from Yale, an MD from Harvard, and some other fancy degree from another ridiculous school.  They were all so impressive.  After convocation, the Duke Alumni Association held a little picnic for all of us.  It was wonderful to meet fellow grad students from so many different departments!  Who knew Duke had a PhD in art history?!?  Awesome people.  Awesome day.

I’m leaving a ton of stuff out, but all in all it was a great day.  Tomorrow we meet the new dean of Duke Divinity (his installation ceremony is next week).  Gotta get to bed – another long orientation day tomorrow!

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