I am giddy happy to know that this long-held goal is now completed. Over the past 2 decades life kept happening. I started the process at least four times… Each time I had to set the goal aside, it was for different reasons- work life, personal life, finances, health issues- typical for many of us.
This time the pandemic coincided with my efforts which at first I thought would be problematic but quite the opposite. I was afforded the time I needed to get my schooling done while I sheltered in place. But it was quite a haul to finally be studying.
The first time I considered getting a doctoral degree I was in my mid-thirties. I had completed my master’s and I became licensed as a counselor. I was dipping my toes into alternative healing modalities for myself. I contemplated chiropractic school. I submitted my application and was accepted. I just could not accept the exorbitant tuition so I decided not to start that program.
A few years later I started a Ph.D. in psychology. This seemed most rational since I was already a licensed counselor. I enrolled and took a couple of classes. My heart wasn’t in it. I already held a bachelor degree in mental health and masters degree in rehabilitation counseling. I was looking to be challenged and another degree in virtually the same subject matter wasn’t doing it for me.
A few years after that, I applied for a doctorate by public works, which would have been based on my work in the field of online therapy/telemental health. Life really happened and I never pushed that start button. I kept teaching and writing on the topic but a doctorate on the subject matter was not to be.
Ten more years, now in my late 50’s I felt a longing to go back to school to complete this goal. I did a lot of soul searching- why do I desire another degree? What will I gain? Am I too old? What am I trying to prove?
Truth is, I love learning. I got very clear on wanting to learn something new- not completely new but I wanted to study in an area that would enhance my current work. I considered a Doctorate of Ministry but to be honest, that was too “churchy” for me.
As I reflected, I realized that much of the conversations I had with students (coaching, therapy or clinical supervision students) focused on spiritual topics around justice, inclusiveness, soul purpose and intuition. I wanted learning that would enhance those conversations.
I searched university programs for nearly a year and one day I landed on a program I knew was the one for me. The program I chose? Doctor of Theology in Multifaith Spiritual Direction (D.Th).
A spiritual director serves as a midwife for the soul, assisting others in the development of their own spiritual growth and development. ~ https://uofts.org/school-of-spiritual-direction/
Those words grabbed me and I immediately applied. I am so glad I did. The program was awesome and grew me in big, huge ways.
Now I teach at the University, having developed 3 courses for the University’s Spiritual Coaching Certificate.
Capstone University is a progressive, inter-spiritual, interdenominational, inter-faith, and holistic based center for higher learning that endeavors to educate and assist in the development of forward-thinking leaders and practitioners of Spiritual Care. University partners are the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, founded in 1960 and it’s affiliate, the Spiritual Care Association, both dedicated to the full integration of spiritual care in health care.
If you have a dream, go for it, even if it takes a few starts and stops to get there!