Life holds so many options, sometimes choosing just one path proves impossible. Caleb Fugate graduated in 2016 with degrees in both Communications and Biblical & Religious Studies with a concentration in theology. Now a graduate student at Duke University’s Divinity School, Fugate appreciates the unity of his bachelor’s degrees even more. “My ability to critically think through theological jargon is due to the rigorous academics that Messiah has,” says Fugate. “Congruently, my writing skills, both in a theological nature and in general, were a product of both my Communications degree and my theology degree.”
Fugate chose to continue his education at Duke University because their program prepares him to both pursue a Ph.D., and serve as a pastor. “Duke University happens to be one of the top divinity schools, and I knew that it would help me thrive as an academician as well as give me the skills necessary to thrive in the pastorate.” Hebrew represents a class that checks off all of those boxes. Not only does it stretch Fugate academically, but it also prepares him for accurate Biblical interpretation for a congregation. However, learning Hebrew has proved more difficult than he expected.
Even though graduate school entails more school work than undergraduate work, Fugate’s average day still looks like a Messiah student’s. “I have classes and hang out with friends,” says Fugate. “The world is in desperate need of intelligent people who are genuinely concerned with the broken reality of the world. This past week, as I have reflected on the season of advent, I have noticed that people are seriously lacking in hope. I think the loving community that I experienced at Messiah is something that people crave, and I can give that.”
Transitioning into life in the real world while still pursuing and education can prove difficult. “It’s imperative to sit down and do some self-evaluation in life, and seriously ask yourself what it is you want to pursue,” says Fugate. “You can waste a lot of time pursuing frivolous things, and in grad school you really don’t have time to waste. You have to be proactive with this self-evaluation so you can thrive in whatever you do.”