Well I guess I’m now officially a professional student because I’ve decided to start back in college this fall and work on another degree.

I’ll be a Religious Studies major at Tulsa Community College, but since my B.A. is in Bible (with a Christian Ministry emphasis), I’m hoping to put together a degree track to earn an Associates degree that focuses primarily on an inter-faith/comparative religion perspective.

So for this semester I’ll be taking two classes…

REL 1213 – Religions of the World: The Eastern Tradition

(I) 3 Credits
A survey of Oriental religious heritage of India, Japan, China, and others. Some of the specific religions examined are Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shintoism, Jainism, and Sikhism. Lecture 3 hours. No Laboratory.

REL 2113 – Old Testament
(H) 3 Credits
English translation of the Hebrew scriptures (Christian Old Testament) with emphasis upon historical background, critical analysis, and theological interpretations. In addition, it will be shown how themes from these scriptures have been used in various forms of literature.
Lecture 3 hours. No Laboratory.

Both classes will be distance learning classes, and as I understand it I’ll watch the lectures online, correspond with the professor by email on assignments, and then take the tests on campus in Tulsa.

I’m very excited about both classes. The OT class will be a great review of what I learned as an undergrad in Austin, but also should cover some new ground with the literary emphasis. As for the Eastern religions class, I’m super-stoked about it because I’ve been studying Buddhism & Taoism for the last few years but know only a little bit about Hinduism and also would love the chance to have to engage in these topics in a more disciplined way than just casual reading.

But beyond the academics, I must admit that half the reason I’m taking these classes is to get the student loan deferment. As long I take at least a half-time load and make decent grades, I can push off my student loan payments for awhile longer, which is a mighty good thing.