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.
If you have a dream, go for it, even if it takes a few starts to get there!