Pastor Matt Chandler on Going Back to School at The Wheaton Grad School

At 45, Matt Chandler enrolled in the graduate program at Wheaton College. I asked him why.

Matt Chandler and I are both in class right now— finishing up his first week in our graduate program. Last night, I talked to Matt about why he decided to go back to school.

Now, I should note that our program is not a residential program, and Matt is not leaving his church. Our students fly in and out for week-long classes, along with some online classes, and often in academic cohorts that stay together over the course of a degree.

If you are considering going back to school, I also asked Christine Caine similar questions, as she is also a current grad student at Wheaton. You can find our conversation here.

We are glad to have Matt studying in our School of Ministry, Mission, and Leadership.

Ed: You are here with me at your first class in the Wheaton College Graduate School. So, what’s the deal? You’re 45-years-old and you’ve gone all of this way without having a Master’s degree, so why go back to school?

Matt: I’ve committed myself to being a lifelong learner, and so whether that’s books or seminars or schooling, it’s always been my hope that no matter how old I get, I continue to learn and grow in my understanding. I just thought it was time to go back to school. The tools I got in my undergrad have enabled me to get to a certain depth of thinking and interacting. And so, I began to feel, probably a year ago, a bit flat on how I was able to dig and think.

Part of that is that I’m in a specific tribe. The danger of just being stuck in that space is that you don’t get to learn the good that’s out there that maybe your tribe is not familiar with or has never taken the time to consider. So, for me, if I can develop tools that enable me to continue to learn and grow into my 50s …

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