By Grace Al-Zoughbi

In the second and third centuries, Tertullian asked the following rhetorical question: ‘What has Jerusalem to do with Athens, the church with the academy?’ Have you ever felt trapped in the Academic-Spirituality divide? Although these two narratives should not compete with one another, often it appears as though they seemingly are. If you consider yourself one of these two, purely spiritual or merely an engaged academic, or if you have successfully integrated these two aspects, then do read on…

Allow me at the outset to take you on a personal journey.

I was thirteen years old when I pledged to give God my very best. I was in my room and no one heard me but God. The combination of being a ‘straight-A’ student during my scholastic year and a passionate Christian teenager led me to the words of Paul in Philippians 3:8, ‘Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things…that I may gain Christ.’ To my mind, the way I could experience ‘the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus’ was to study His word. In order to accomplish this, I desired to undertake theological studies to enrich my knowledge and nurture my faith. Two decades later, I have come to realize it is not only through studying His word, but equally knowing Him at a personal level.