Yep! If you’ve guessed that I am returning to school, you are right! 🙂 I have been accepted into a PhD program here at the University of Aberdeen. I will be joining Nathan in the Divinity department, but I will be completing my degree in the area of Practical Theology. I have the opportunity to research and write underneath an amazing professor here who is known around the world for his multidisciplinary interests and research. Because of his areas of expertise and the unique program offered under his supervision, I will be able to commence a doctoral project that allows for the integration of both theology and mental health counseling~ two of my passions! So this is an exciting opportunity and something that Nathan and I are thrilled about!
I will begin the program in February and join Nathan in a season of hard work, focus, tons of reading and writing, and lots of growth over the next 3 years. For those of you who have tracked along on our journey to Scotland thus far, you will know that this was not originally in our plans for the move to Aberdeen. At least not in the plans for our initial time here. But many of you will also know that I have had every intention of pursuing doctoral work at some point, knowing that both Nathan and I have a desire to teach at the collegiate level paired with desire to write, in addition to keeping active in local church ministry.
It’s surely been a varied road leading to this point, on which I like to look back and smile. I never quite knew where it would lead! BA in Sacred Music from ORU in 2006, 3 years on staff for ORU in the Worship Department and the completion of my Master of Divinity in 2009, on to a year in California serving in local church ministry leading worship and teaching Jr. High, then back to Colorado where I completed my M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Denver Seminary in 2012. Since then, 2,000 hours of clinical work as a therapist in Colorado, while serving in local church ministry. And now, Aberdeen! Who would have known?! All the while I have had a desire to go on for doctoral work, specifically in a program that would allow me to bring my two areas of educational/professional training and experience together. But timing and location is everything!
So with the support and encouragement of some key professors from my past programs, mixed in with a lot of prayer and discussion with Nathan about it, I felt confident to apply here and to pursue this opportunity, knowing that it will be the best place to complete my PhD, underneath the ideal supervisor. An incredible opportunity!
With the official acceptance in hand now, I am feeling blessed to: 1) Have the chance to complete this program at a wonderful research institution; 2) Within a fantastic divinity program; 3) Alongside wonderful people from all over the world; 4) While we are living in Scotland, and 5) While Nathan and I can both dedicate the time and energy to pursue the capstones to our educational journeys!
So at some point down the road, 3-ish years from now, after a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, we will be the Drs. French! Here’s to the adventure ahead and wherever the road may lead!