What was your experience as a Christian grad student? What were some interesting conversation starters with fellow students and professors?

What was your experience as a Christian grad student? Was there a strategy you used to balance your time, and were there interesting conversation starters you remember with classmates/professors?

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Hi Brittany, Thank you for asking this question. My time as a PhD student was a really interesting season. I should say that i was involved in 100% research (slightly different set up to in the USA) and so was in a laboratory of about 20 students most the time rather than in lectures. I was quite a new Christian and just discovering what i now know to be an evangelistic gift - a heart and desire to share the Christian faith. As students we were essentially left to structure our own time and so there were lots of interesting conversations over lunch. Every few weeks we might be there discussing things for couple of hours. My conversations were mostly with peers at that point. There was no specific strategy, however, today i recommend the kinds of principles laid out in Michael Ramsden’s conversational evangelism training and Vince Vitale’s lectures on the art of conversations. Some essential themes are 1) if we are living a distinctive, countercultural life then sooner or later this will provoke questions in the people around us, 2) when we are asked a question about something spiritual, be ready to ask questions back and have a conversation rather than deliver a monologue, 3) if people aren’t asking us questions then pray for opportunities to come up, eyes to see them, courage to take them and wisdom to know what to say - Colossians 4. 4) Read a couple of popular level books to be equipped toddle with some of the common objections. Grad school does provide a unique opportunity. I hope this helps! Sharon

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