As some readers of this blog may already be aware, our family is planning to move to Scotland for a few years so I can work on a Ph.D at the University of Edinburgh. As we’ve been visiting churches and mission partners in the States, a number of people have asked me why I'm going to do a Ph.D. That's an excellent question.
For most missionaries, a doctorate really isn't necessary. They plant churches. They do direct evangelism. They work with street kids. This is all important work and it is really helpful to have some kind of bible college or seminary degree for greatest effectiveness (why?), but probably not a doctorate. So why am I going for a Ph.D?
In this post, I want to answer that question by briefly laying out six reasons that are motivating my pursuit of doctoral studies. It is my hope that readers in general will understand why Ph.D studies might be right for some missionaries, and that our mission partners in particular will understand why I personally am pursing a Ph.D. At the end of the post, you’ll find a curated list of some helpful articles by myself and others about the relationship between theological education and mission work.
Over the years, many people have asked me how to get a visa to do missionary work in Thailand, so I have put together this post to give a brief overview of the options. My intention here is to give signposts for where to start, not to provide comprehensive instructions for everything you need to do to successfully apply for a visa. Government regulations and requirements can change without notice, and vary from location to location, so what follows is merely general guidance and pointers, which may or may not match what you actually find when you apply for a visa. With that said, the various visa options for those wanting to do (Protestant) missionary work in Thailand are as follows: