If one was called, what are practical steps to take in order to be in a position to contribute to modern Biblical scholarship? I look at scholars like NT Wright, who can write around over 700 pages on a single topic in Christianity, whether it be the Resurrection, the historicity of Christ, etc. Others like him write at length on such specific areas of Christianity, such as “Jesus Monotheism” by Dr. Crispin Fletcher-Louis. Dr. Brant Pitre is a great example of a Catholic scholar who can tie Judaism and Christianity together. The Catholic Commentary on sacred scripture has great scholars involved like Dr. Mary Healy and Dr. Scott Hahn. Many of these scholars have a certain niche, yet there are still other areas that could be looked into further, where maybe the niche hasn’t been filled yet. But how do you get to this point, where you are the one helping others learn something so important? The more I study Theology (only at the undergrad level), I’m equal parts amazed at God’s glorious plan, and saddened by the overwhelming lack of interest by hordes of Catholics.
It would be so rewarding to serve God’s Church in a way that would inspire many Catholics to explore the riches of Catholicism, in a deep way. Now, I don’t think that highly of myself to think I am in any way even near ready or qualified. However, unlike most people, who list athletes and the like as heroes, I list people like I’ve mentioned above.
Something like this deserves lots of ongoing spiritual direction (which my spiritual director also holds a doctorate haha). But IF an individual like myself, a married man with 2 kids (and more, God-willing), were called to study at this level, what are some practical steps that could prepare me to be involved in the next generation of modern day Catholic Biblical Scholarship? How are Biblical Scholars able to drop 6 figures on education, to land jobs that, well, aren’t sought after to make the “big bucks.” Is this just something that if you’re called to, you must be prepared to experience decades of debt unless you become a renown best selling author like Dr. Scott Hahn? I have the zeal for this, but practically that’s only one small portion.
Are there areas to explore that I’m not aware of? Am I overestimating the financial burden of receiving a DTh? Maybe certain Archdiocese’s have programs that I’m not aware of, to help laymen just as they prepare Seminarians? Maybe Catholic high schools pay for you to finish your Masters, and universities pay for you to finish your Doctorate if you are employed? I just don’t have any idea. This is something I’ve prayed about for years. Perhaps it’s foolish and I’m not called to it, but I don’t want to simply disregard it without at least looking into the practicalities.
Thank you for your answers.