Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cherry Hill Seminary

I had a phone interview yesterday with Cynthia Collins, Academic Dean of Cherry Hill Seminary. 

Color me impressed. 

I applied to Cherry Hill looking to expand my education so I can assist those going through the changes all initiatory traditions create. Frankly, it is an on-line school and I didn't expect much. I was hoping for the best but, realistically, on-line schools can be flaky. I gave it a shot because WitchDoctorJoe has had a positive experience. Knowing Joe, I know he could make a positive experience out of a questionable academic situation because he'd apply himself. He could create the discipline within when none was required without. Yet, Joe never complained about the lack of academics. The problem is, you could kick Joe in the shins three times a week and he wouldn't complain. You'd just wake up dead one morning. 

After speaking with Cynthia I was most impressed. I was impressed with her and the school. 

First, the school. Cherry Hill's expanding academic curriculum is impressive.  One can obtain a Master's of Divinity (doesn't that sound GOOD) Degree with a number of specialties Textual Traditions and Interpretation; Nature Divinity and Inspiration; Pastoral Care and Counseling; Public Minstry and Expression;  and Advocacy in Venues. I may have the names slightly wrong and I haven't checked the website to verify my chicken scratch notes. I am simply too busy with the house renovations to be a diligent writer at the moment.  Their instructors even include a rabbi that specializes in 13Th century kabbalah! I am beside myself! My problem isn't finding a specialty it is picking from among so many. I feel like My "Pisces" Gal, "One of everything, please." 

The school has academic standards that are every bit as tough as a brick and mortar university. Going part time, I will take me six years to obtain this degree. Six years. This is not a degree mill. 

I was impressed with Cynthia because she is takes a lot of pride of what she does. You can hear it in her voice. She is excited about Cherry Hill. She is working to improve what she already sees as great. You can hear the pride in her voice when she talks about her job and what the school is doing. How many people can you say speak of their workplace with pride?  On a personal level, she picked up on things about me that were true that I didn't realize I was conveying. There is only one way to do that. Listening. To be that perceptive you have to actively listen and care about the perfect stranger you are speaking with. The cynical side of me actually felt like I could go to her with any problems I faced at the school and get them resolved. My kind side will always believe what I am told. She convinced my cynical side. Not many do that.

The incoming class will be their first Master Degree students. I am really hoping to be in that first class. I suppose that preference will be given to folks that are already enrolled and that is how it should be. I can want it anyway. If not, I am in the certificate program and I will upgrade as soon as I can. 


I will be working off-line with Frater LVF of this blog per his request, as we work through the Stavish book. Expect some posts comparing our work, as long as he agrees. My personal Stavish work will be continually blogged about, as you have come to expect. It will be a few days before I can seriously get started. We are almost done with the painting. Promise.


WitchDoctorJoe said...

Aawwww shucks yur making me blush...

Congrats on CHS!

Suecae Sounds said...

Sounds really exiting. I hope that it will live up to your expectations, and that you will find yourself in a supportive and learning enviroment! :)

Master's of Divinity makes me think of He-man and Masters of the Universe. Hehe. Watch out for Skeletor!

Soror Gimel said...

Go baby go! I am proud of you!