Anyone who knows me knows I like music. To a lesser degree, I also like variety and adventure. In 2010 I will begin a new adventure. And that adventure involves music. I plan to begin studies leading to a PhD. And what will the subject of that degree be? I'll be studying the music of the Songhai people of Niger, with whom we have worked for the last 20 years. This plan has been a long time coming, and it promises to be a five-year adventure. I'll be writing more about it in this blog in the weeks and months to come. Suffice it to say that I'll be doing the studies through the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies in Oxford, England. I have to go to England in March to begin with a 10-week "induction" course. Nancy will go with me for the first month to encourage me, sightsee, and see where I'm going to be. Then she'll return to the US to be here when Daniel and Suzanne finish college. I'll stay until early June.
While I'm in England, I'll take courses in research methods, learn about the OCMS program, and have a supervisor assigned to me for my studies. Then I return to England each year until I finish the degree and have to spend only six weeks there per year meeting with my supervisor and reviewing where we're at. The rest of the program will involve research, writing, reading, and communicating with my supervisors on line.
Today I took the first step in the pursuit of this program. I bought tickets to England for next March. I leave with Nancy on March 24.