Since we moved to the USA in 2015, I’ve been thinking of advancing my education in my chosen field–youth work. After some consideration, I decided not to pursue youth ministry, but instead pursue a Master’s degree in Youth Development. I only discovered this program when I did a Google search about educational opportunities related to youth work.

This program is part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA). It’s a consortium of several universities in the great plains area of the United States (Michigan, Missouri, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, and several others).

Through GPIDEA, member universities are able to share resources and offer different courses that helps make the online offerings more robust and cost-effective. My home university is Missouri University or Mizzou.

I applied and went through the process of taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). I’m proud to say that I got 117 out of 120. All those years spent reading Fantasy fiction and watching American movies and TV series paid off!

This is my first time to engage in online learning. There are no set times that we need to meet to watch a lecture together. The courses I have so far are all module-based. I will read the assigned articles and textbook chapters at my own pace, but I need to answer some questions for discussion and interact with classmates in a small group setting.

We also have assignments throughout the semester–a book review, some journal entries, an interview with a teenager, and online group discussions.

Classes started on August 30, 2017 and so my first official week as a graduate school student is over. I look forward to a fruitful semester. I intend to blog about my experience and the lessons I’m learning about the content of my courses. Since it is about Youth Development, it is right up my alley as a young people’s ministries professional.

It’s Official! I’m a Student Again

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