BY PHILLIP WARD | STAFF WRITER
From his childhood ambitions, to lofty theological conjectures to candid musings on single life, Convergence on Thursday night was a time to get to know Renewal Week speaker Dr. Tim Green.
Convergence is set up as a time for students to “Discuss how our passions and gifts can serve God vocationally no matter our future occupations,” according to the Convergence webpage.
Thursday night had the feel of a couple of old friends discussing life over hot beverages. Only it was a group of young college students talking to a man with his P.h.D in religion from Vanderbilt University, the author of many books and the head of the School of Religion at Trevecca Nazarene University.
Green shared how his journey to be- coming a Chaplain and university professor began after his dreams of being a pediatrician were crushed by an atrocious chemistry teacher in high school.
Instead, he decided to pursue a graduate degree in religion and did not attend seminary straight after graduation, which was, considered rebellious. Most people, especially in the Nazarene denomination, who wanted to be pastors were expected to attend seminary after their undergraduate studies.
“I think we act, a lot of times, on a Holy hunch. Which is, trying to obey God and trying to be faithful and then just making a decision,” said Green.
The decision not to attend seminary was heavily influenced by the recent death of his father and ended up get- ting Green his first job teaching, which turned into a lifelong passion. Green moved back to Nashville after his father’s passing to be closer to the rest of his family. Not wanting to give up on his studies, he applied to a graduate program at Vanderbilt University and received a P.h.D. in religion.
“I am beginning to believe that sometimes a calling is an afterthought,” said Green when reflecting on how he got to where he is today.
Green explained how, while seeming rather ordinary and insignificant at the time, you can get to the end of life and see a very clear calling on the things you have done.
In a more vulnerable moment Green shared with us how being single has affected his life. He told us that “it just never happened,” and that he didn’t feel called to be single but acknowledged that, “maybe a call to be single is when you die and have never gotten married.”
Green also shared his opinion on how Christian and theology majors can best be prepared for the real world. In his own experience he had seen a lot of rough transitions of young graduates into parish settings, especially in churches with a large elderly population.
“How do you just not go in and say, the first week, hey I’m just going to rip your theology apart and tell you what I’ve learned at a great school,” said Green.
He advised recent graduates to acknowledge that, “theology is at the service of the church,” and to not try and assert their dominance but instead, adopt a spirit of serving and trust that God will do the rest.
The final words that Green left us with were, “go and co-create with God.”
Photo by: Trevecca.edu