Is Education Worth It?

Sub-Prime Goes to College

Education is on the last things we truly believe in America.  We say invest in education and it will always pay off.  Will it?

This is a question we are asking in my own family.  I have four college age children in my family; each pursuing their life goals in their own way.  I am proud of each and affirm that there are many ways to a career.  I myself have returned to do D. Min work at Perkins School of Theology to fulfill a life long dream and pursue a future call.

This is a question we should be asking in many professional careers.  In my profession, many women and men are assuming over a $100,000 debt to attend Schools of Theology for a career in ministry.   I know many of them are asking the questions about this level spending and incurring this much debt.

I have intuitively wondered if are on the brink of an education bubble.   Steven Eisman has confirmed my intuition with hard data.  Eisman predicted both the tech and real estate bubbles (We thought tech growth was endless and everyone should own real estate.  Thus, we invested wildly and borrowed madly.) He is now bringing forth research that suggests we are on the brink of an educational bubble.

At the Ira Sohn Conference he cutely sub titles his presentation Sub-Prime Goes to College that delineates how for profit educational institutions are creating more debt for underemployed students who are beginning to default on loans at an alarming rate.  His data suggest they are marketing to students with lesser means, assuring them education pays.  In reality, what is happening is they are being allured into higher costs institutions by monopolizing Title IV funds.  You can read more HERE

The question for the coming generation-How much debt are we willing to incur to accomplish our life goals?

Artists and Preachers, Bed Partners?

Artists are often my preachers.  Contemporary singer songwriter David Wilcox helped me negotiate difficult times.  Ancient works redone by Sting have soothed my soul.  Little heard artists like Mark Broussard make my two left feet dance.  Patty Griffin has been my recent artist/preacher.  She was on Austin City Limits last night (3/24/11) doing cuts from her recent album, Downtown Church.

It occurred to me that her rendition of Dorothy Love Coates “Strange Man” might be the last little bit of help a preacher like me might need to complete this week’s message based on the gospel lection passage of John 4.  Preach on Sister Patty!  Or, to paraphrase Wesley advice on preaching, “1. To invite. 2. To convince. 3. To offer this “Strange Man“. 4. To build up. And to do this in some measure in every sermon.

After all, while the context of ministry may change the message of a strange man remains the same.  Did I mention Robert Plant good sermons on “Band of Joy”.