impact of getting a doctorate

In this past summer’s blockbuster movie Top Gun: Maverick, Maverick sits in the office of his commanding officer and former rival, Ice Man. Maverick struggles to make a decision and wonders about his impact as a teacher and fighter pilot in the navy. “It’s not what I am,” Maverick says to Ice Man, “it’s who I am. How do I teach that?”

To me, this suggests a man who lacks a basic understanding of who he is and what skills make him a great pilot. We all have heard how critical self-awareness is to our growth and potential, both personally and professionally. What was that ancient Greek maxim again? Everyone together now, γνῶθι σεαυτόν! (“know thyself”). While the original intention was likely more classist in nature than our typical modern usage, clearly self-awareness has been crucial to civilized societies for millennia. But as Christ-followers, we know there is more to our story.

While treading softly on the cliché, considering who we are and whose we are is a question of identity. Here’s what we believe: You have been “fearfully and wonderfully made,” created in His image, chosen, and appointed to bear much fruit. You “are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand” for you to do. And God has grand plans for you and your future, even if you do not know precisely what those plans may be.

Who you are and Whose you are are two foundational reasons to consider getting a doctorate, allowing it to create a larger platform to impact and influence others for service to Christ in the church and the world. 

How will I use a doctorate degree?

One question we often get from prospective doctoral students is “how will I use this degree in the future?” It’s a fair question. Of course, we know that a doctorate gives people access to higher-level and higher-paying leadership positions—whether it be in education, business, health professions, non-profits, or other endeavors. But these responses answer the “what am I” questions, not the “who am I” ones. And the “who am I?” question is so essential for a doctoral student to wrestle with, reflect upon, and truly embrace.  

Learning at Concordia

CUWAA’s doctoral program, known as LICI (Leadership in Innovation and Continuous Improvement), is focused on both your future “employability” as well as the formation and maturation of your heart and mind. Just as important as answering the question, “what can I do with this learning?”, the LICI program will certainly have you reflecting upon the question, “what is all this learning doing to me?” 

Christian apologist G.K. Chesterton once noted that “education is not a subject and does not deal in subjects. It is instead a transfer of a way of life.” A Christian education integrates students into the life of the church and faith creating an accurate worldview even while our LICI cohorts welcome students of all faiths or no faith backgrounds.

A letter to Christians

Dear Christian brother or sister, we need you out there in the marketplace of ideas, the public square, the ivory towers, the business and corporate offices, the home, and the rooms where things happen. We need your influence and presence in the innovative and creative spaces which manifest important change and movements in our culture and society.

We need more biblically-inspired Christians with terminal degrees sharing God’s love and promises in unique ways and venues with terminally ill souls in our midst. Perhaps God is calling you to be a doctor so that you can serve in special places and spaces in these spiritually sick times.  

Explore your calling

If you feel God is leading you to investigate and solve a problem, create something special, explore your passions and interests in a deeper and scholarly way, personalize and build your expertise so that you make an essential difference and impact, make new connections or discover new opportunities to serve, start your doctoral journey today. We’d love to help you. With God, all things are possible.