Faster … Better… and Mainer

Have You Considered Summer Session for Theology at SJCME?

Summer Session allows you to accelerate your degree (i.e., faster), and enjoy a great learning environment (yes, it’s better), all while spending a small part of your summer, maybe even with your family, on Sebago Lake (which is, well, just plain Mainer!). Summer Session at SJCME is better, faster, and Mainer.

The reasons that any of us might pursue a Theology degree are as varied as there are people interested! For me, a Theology degree was a logical deeper dive complement to the intensive Theology Program that I already participated in as part of my diocese’ formation as a candidate for the permanent diaconate. SJCME’s Master’s in Theology gave me just a bit more (of an already good thing).

Likewise, the reasons we each have for enrolling specifically at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine for an M.A. in Theology may be every bit as equally varied. We are different people, with different desires, plans, constraints, and vocations in life; that’s the beauty of something so flexible. But, I think that there is one awesome aspect that may be all too often overlooked. It’s overlooked by many who consider Saint Joseph’s when looking from the outside and even by some of us already enrolled.

SJCME offers the “best of both worlds” with excellent online courses for sure. But, did you know that there is also the option to take courses on-campus on Sebago Lake in Maine during the summer as well?

The on-campus Summer Session can be used as an option to accelerate your degree. It can also be an excuse for a mini-family vacation in Maine! And it most certainly will enrich your study experience, with friendships and memories to last a lifetime. For me, the summer experience did all three! I completed my own degree more quickly and economically thanks to the Summer Theology Program. I enjoyed all the benefits of the same excellent online instructors that Saint Joseph’s offers, plus the intimacy of direct classroom discussion, as well as downtime together with fellow students over reading, following Mass, or while breakin’ a lobsta ta-getha!

The courses offered are six weeks in length with five weeks online and one week on-campus. The scheduling allows both graduate and undergraduate students to take courses, with several different courses offered. You can attend either one week or both weeks. It is entirely possible to accelerate your Theology degree by taking up to four courses with the hybrid Summer Session offerings.

So, that’s the “What?”, as far as attending Summer Session – wicked good though it is. But how about the “Why?” The benefits for me fell into four very large buckets: Classroom, Campus, Classmates, plus Coffee & Cold Beer!

The classroom setting allows a chance for deeper discussion and sometimes even productive disagreement over key theological concepts. The direct live discussion was always great.

The campus is simply beautiful! It’s peaceful and scenic, with an opportunity to attend daily Mass, walk along forest trails, skip stones on Sebago Lake, or sit for hours in an Adirondack chair.

The coffee is free all day at the Café and available hot or cold. I’m just saying! 😊 And in the evenings, there are social events to eat, or kayak, or simply enjoy a cold beer with new soon-to-be lifelong friends. (N.B.: while the rocks on the stone wall out by the fire pit do NOT make a good bottle opener, the strike plate in a door jamb does!)

Finally, the last (and best) reason to attend Summer Session, is nowhere near the least. It’s each of you – all of us – the Classmates! I have met men and women that I now consider friends. No matter how great the interaction online, you just can’t get there in one course. But on campus, you can. I did.

So, check your calendars, pack the car, or grab a flight. Come to SJCME Summer Session July 8-12, July 15-19, or both!

Steven Sarnecki is near completion of his M.A. in Advanced Diaconal Studies and, God willing, will be ordained a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese of Baltimore this Spring. He will also be on campus for the first week of Summer Session and would love to break a lobsta ta-getha!