by Matt Bell

Spring is always a busy time for students — tests, exams, final papers, and the like. This semester however is a little bit different for me. Because, by the great grace of the Lord God Almighty, I will graduate on May 20th! 

Paige and I were looking at a list of things that cause stress and “finishing school” was one of them. Along with buying a house — which we are also doing! If all goes well, we will move in sometime this week! 

So times are busy and strange for the Bell family. Internship responsibilities and paperwork for Perkins is ramping up and I’m also studying for a content exam in 7th-12th grade Social Studies. If I pass this content exam, then I’m eligible for teacher training and then hirable by various school districts. 

“But I thought Matt was going to stay at KPUMC until he gets ordained and then gets his own church?” Well, not quite. 

Since day one in seminary I was that one student who had a complicated answer to the seemingly simple question, “Why are you here?” Most students answered something like, “I want to be ordained and seminary is on the checklist of things to do on the way to ordination.” I typically answered that question like this, “I’m open to being ordained, I really am, but if that call isn’t for me I really don’t want to pick up that phone. I’m really interested in the intersection of religion and public schools. I had a world religions course in college and I just think everyone should know about religion and the best way to do that is to teach about and raise awareness of religion in public schools.” Upon hearing that, the questioners nod their head and scrunch up their noses mouthing, “Okay…” 

I came to seminary, Dallas, and KPUMC with this goal on my mind. I view jumping into education as my ministry environment and so have craved all the skills and knowledge one gets being in seminary and working at a church. And, let me tell you, I got what I came for. Perkins is a great seminary and KPUMC is a great church. I’ve learned about myself, the world, people, and God in ways I could not have imagined before arriving and I am so eternally grateful for this. My experiences will be carried into whatever job I hold next and beyond. 

I’m excited, nervous, scared, and hopeful about these upcoming months and anticipate a lot of change in my personal and professional life. Even after I leave KPUMC in August I won’t be far because the house we’ve found is about 15 minutes south. So whatever school I end up teaching in you’ll still be seeing us around ☺!  But first I need to finish this degree!