If money had been no object, I’d have gone straight back to university after earning my education degree. I would have pursued a second bachelor degree, this time in cultural anthropology, simply because I loved it. At the time, however, that wasn’t an option. My first degree was paid for by a grant from the Government of the Northwest Territories but that had run out and it was time to find a job and begin supporting myself.
Since retiring from teaching seven years ago, I’ve often thought that if I lived closer to a college or university I’d probably enroll in a few courses just for fun. Although anthropology still interests me, at this point I’d probably choose women’s studies. I’ve never considered myself a feminist because I’m adamantly opposed to abortion (except when continuing a pregnancy places the mother’s life in grave danger). By definition, I suppose I’m a pro-life feminist as I’m keenly interested in the plight of women worldwide, believing that girls and women should have equal rights and opportunities to men. It pains me to know that, in this day and age, girls and women in many parts of the world continue to be denied access to education and to endure obscene cruelties such as female genital mutilation and forced marriage.
Okay, let me climb down off my soapbox and continue what I started off to say!
Though I don’t regret the fact that I didn’t go to Bible college as a young person and I didn’t encourage my own children to do so, in recent years I’ve also thought that I wouldn’t mind taking a few Biblical studies courses. Recently, I learned of an opportunity to combine all three of my academic interests and audit a course entitled Biblical Theology of Womanhood: Old Testament online for free!
The women’s studies course, offered by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, is described as “an amplified and comprehensive study of womanhood in the Old Testament which overlaps in a general way and is supplementary to systematic theology, especially as concerns the doctrine of anthropology.”
Auditing the course means that I’m not taking it for university credit. I get to enjoy all the lectures and do as many of the readings as I want, but I don’t have to write any of the papers or take the final exam. There are also online discussion groups that I can participate in. I must admit that I felt a tingle of excitement when I received the email with my student ID number! It’s been 39 years since I had one of those!
The course actually started on August 21 but since I was on vacation, I chose to wait until I was back home to begin. As an online student, I’m not tied to the regular Thursday evening schedule. Instead, I can watch the two and a half to three hour lectures whenever I choose. The first one, which I watched this evening, was an introduction to the course and laid the groundwork for what lies ahead. I’m not sure that I’ll agree with everything that’s taught but I do know that I’ll be challenged to dig into scripture and to seek a better understanding of what God’s Word says to and about women. I also know that I’m excited to be going back to school even if it is in the comfort of my own living room!