For those who wish to read the seminary paper known as My Personal Creed

theology wordogramSeveral weeks ago, I shared online that I was writing what many seminarians say is the most important and intimidating paper of their educational experience. I was writing the dreaded personal creed– the lengthy paper in which we’re to explain what we believe and why. I was nervous about writing this paper because I don’t (or maybe I should say “I didn’t”) have a creed. I hated the idea of solidifying my beliefs in one twenty-page document. I also worried that I would fail miserably. I imagined myself starting the paper and never finishing–and subsequently failing my required course.

I suppose those fears are why I didn’t take this course one year ago when I should have. I registered for the class and then dropped it a few days before the first day. I remember thinking, “Write a creed? I can’t do that. Procrastinate? Now that, I can do.”

I couldn’t, however, put the course off this year. Because I’m so close to graduation, I can no longer allow fear to choose which courses I will and won’t take. In order to graduate on time, I’ll have to take my courses when they’re available– even the ones that scare me to death. I enrolled in the dreaded Systematic Theology course this past spring and wrote my paper while openly joking and agonizing about the process in the world of social media.

I shared online that rather than employ “systematic theology,” my paper would be an account of why I systematically dismantled most of what I used to believe. That statement prompted several of my Internet acquaintances to indicate that they’d like to read the paper. I was hesitant at first, but after giving it some thought, I’ve decided to make the paper public.

I was required to offer a response to the Apostles’ Creed, section by section, beginning with Article Four. I did as my instructor (someone I understand to be theologically conservative) requested. I got an A. (Thanks, Professor!)

Click this icon to download a copy of Crystal's Personal Creed.

Click this icon to download a copy of Crystal’s Creed.

I’m uploading my paper with hope that my semester-long endeavor to find words for my personal creed will provide language (or at least food for thought) for someone else.

Those of you who are interested are welcome to download a PDF of my credo statement. I’ll also be posting the paper in sections here on my blog over the next several days. Thanks, everyone, for your support and have a great week!

-Crystal

3 responses to “For those who wish to read the seminary paper known as My Personal Creed

  1. Crystal, I’ve just read your Personal Creed and I’m moved to tears. You have so eloquently put into words my own feelings. It is wonderfully written and researched. I find it so interesting that this was required. About a year ago I just up and decided that I was going to sit down and reread the Creeds, Nicene most importantly. I sat down to search for them so that I could dissect them, and examine just how much of the things I repeated by rote for so many years, were actually still true for me. In starting that search, I became aware that there were many more people out there that were doing the same thing as I was. And I think it is because of what the “Church” has become. I honestly believe that Fundamentalist Movement has actually brought about a return of Christ, although like you I believe that he, like God is always with us. Technology has brought knowledge that has been hidden for years to the masses. And I have never felt more connected to my Creator in my life! I could go on and on, but I won’t, you have things to do! Important things! Got do them, and I hope you received an A+++ on this paper. Not just for the content, but for the courage to write it! Peace be with you! I’m off “seeking” and the “finding” is filling my heart. Sincerely, Kathy Mackie

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