Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Why St. Johns?

That seems to be the most common response to people when I tell them about my return to school and future plans. A Methodist at a Catholic University? Interestingly, it's also been a common question from anyone I come into contact with from St. Johns. The two professors that I have who belong to monastic communities were particularly interested in why I choose St. Johns.

First, as I've mentioned before, I am still working full time so I'd be less than truthful if I didn't say that location didn't play a significant factor in my decision. As it is, it is less than convenient for spending time doing research in the library or interacting with other students. Secondly, I like that fact that the Abby and the monastic community are associated with the school. I have a particular interest in spirituality and mysticism and who better to learn about that than from people who have devoted their lives to spiritual living. Also, St. John's is a very open and welcoming community - all that Benedictine tradition - to a wide variety of religious view points. (For example, this summer they hosted a conference on the role of women in Islam; last spring they hosted a group of Buddist monks as they worked on a mandala; and they also play host, on a permanent basis to the Center for Eccumenical Research and the Episcopal House of Prayer.) I've also been impressed with the way the community embraces sustainability. The woods surrounding campus are managed by the Benedictine community and are used for a source of wood for building and maple syrup. It's one of those "fit" things and I'm very happy that pieces have fallen into place that have allowed me to take this path.


1 comment:

David said...

These are great reasons to attend school. I hope things continue to go well.