love your neighbor | mars hill graduate school

When I was originally on my grad school and then seminary search, I was hugely attracted to Mars Hill Graduate School in Seattle. Already familiar with their President Dan Allender, the way MGHS framed their approach to theological education through a Deep Beauty view of the world called to me like family I hadn't yet known.

But in the end, though I struggled, I wound up dismissing them because they did not yet have the accreditation I needed to keep the door open for PhD work. But I still like to keep tabs on them now and then.  Check out this great promo video on loving your neighbor.

mhgs what no. 2 from blaine hogan on Vimeo.
(I don't know who Blaine Hogan is, but I have noticed that it looks like he just recently moved over to my neck of the woods to work for Willow)

I still have this funny hope that'll I'll find some connection with MHGS people. It's been a rather different experience here at NPTS... as an artist I sense I've shelved an entire side of me.  The social tone and space is warm, but encourages a traditionalism more akin to the Thanksgiving silk flowers on your parents table than the open mic, silver and expectant in the upstairs part of the gallery. The portraits in the halls are of elderly Swedes (none of whom I know about).  Culture is recognized here, but as something "other?"—something to be studied (vs. created). Sometimes it is perhaps presented in contradictory ways. My communicating the faith class made attempts, but at the end of the day had a superficial, contrived approach (to its defense--it's focus was personal evangelism). My theology class and others have had a incredibly dim view of beauty in the face of sin. I haven't had a class with missiologist Paul DeNeui (I typically find the missiologists the most insightful on culture in general). But I suspect that none of our classes embody expression that is detailed, creative, playful, and revelatory. I haven't seen professors here that think this way. (Nor at TEDS, where I've taken some additional courses).  Honestly, I think there are only a few classmates here that would naturally fit in a MHGS-lensed world.  Only a few of us who want to talk about life as art, indie music, and discover truth while tracing a twilight skyline.

Which again is hardly to discount the things I like very much at North Park. Just to wonder again at how I'm a "different person" here than I might be elsewhere.