More than 18 months ago, Jenn was turned down by seven schools that she had applied to for a PhD program. It was a crushing rejection for her, but she held on to the hope that God had plans for her. Personally, we believe part of that plan was Brian. They started dating shortly after her plans for higher education fell through in 2014.
At the beginning of this year, she applied to four schools for a Master’s degree. This time, three schools wanted her to come. I’ll let Jenn fill you in on the details of her acceptance to the University of Minnesota.
Jenn is renting a basement apartment from Cru staff who live in a Minneapolis suburb. Her classes started September 8th. The program will be at least six years long.
Meanwhile, Brian knew he wanted to be near Jenn, so God also supplied for him as well. He very quickly was offered a job as a video producer for UM’s medical school. He also found a rental and roommate in St. Paul, just 30 minutes from campus. Brian has been very supportive of Jenn’s education goals, but his move was definitely a big faith step for him.
Both Brian and Jenn grew up in Florida and didn’t know anyone in the Twin Cities… and then there’s the upcoming winter… not like Florida, that’s for sure. We know you’ll join us in praying for their career goals and for their adjustment to living up north.
The rest of this post is by Jenn about her education goals …
When I originally applied for the University of Minnesota’s German program, I had selected a Master’s as my stated goal for the program. My previous batch of discouraging PhD application rejections had taught me to shoot lower, just to get my foot in the door. However, when I received the acceptance letter from the University of Minnesota, it said that I had been admitted into the PhD track of the German program!
It turns out that the German, Scandinavian, and Dutch Studies department (GSD) prefers to instruct students towards earning a PhD. Since I indicated that I wish to one day earn a PhD so that I can teach and research as a professor, GSD decided to accept me into their PhD track. The previous year, it seemed like grad school was completely closed to me after I was rejected by every school I’d applied to. But now I can also say that when God opens a door, He opens it all the way.
I will be primarily studying and analyzing Medieval German literature, but starting my second year, I will also be teaching modern German Language to undergraduates. Because the Medieval period in Europe was very cross-cultural, I’m expected to take classes for other historical languages. I’m currently taking Old English and Old Norse, which will help me read manuscripts that were written in these languages.
GSD also partners with outside institutes. I’m particularly looking forward to going to a manuscript workshop at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, which belongs to a Benedictine monastery an hour’s drive away.
I’m very excited to be starting this next chapter. God has answered our prayers far beyond our original hopes. Thank you for praying for me during my difficult time of applying. Please continue to pray that I would walk with the Lord and that He would give me His wisdom, especially as I encounter other ways that people understand the world.
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” (James 3:17, NIV)