"I'd like to congratulate you on your academic work." Congratulate me? Were these words directed to me? In fact they were. I was having my "Mid-Program Review," part of the process for Master of Divinity candidates who have completed half of the required credits for the program at Andover Newton Theological School.
I felt as if I should get down on my knees and sing praises to the Almighty. I managed to maintain some decorum for the rest of the review, but afterward I could not stop smiling as I recalled God's role in my education.
Until about fifth grade, I had done quite well in school. There is a psychological theory that often girls around that age tend to lose self-confidence and fall behind their male peers. Perhaps I unwittingly succumbed to this influence as my shining academic record gradually dimmed. I was not a poor student, but I seemed to lack the joy of learning that my teachers aimed to foster. In college, hanging out with classmates and exploring the sights of the city took priority over my studies.