Alex Philip Balances Work, Relationships, and Studies
Teaching and working as Chaplain and Head of Spiritual Formation at People’s Christian Academy, Alex Philip was investigating Doctoral programs to increase his knowledge and ministry effectiveness. Learning that Tyndale was about to begin its Doctor of Ministry program he decided that it would be the perfect fit. However, like many students, he faced the challenge of balancing work, school, and relationships. Also, as Alex continued to work, he and his wife had two children.
The rigours of studying while working and beginning a family prompted Alex and his wife to devise a plan that would allow him to meet his work responsibilities, be a father to their young children and study. “When my wife and I talked about my studies we knew there would be sacrifices, but we both felt the program was an important investment in our ministry,” says Alex. “The most important part of that plan was blocking off one study weekend per month over the three year program.” He would spend Friday evening, all of Saturday, and after church on Sunday studying and he would decline all invitations on those weekends, including wedding invitations.
While he was in the program, Alex also made a special effort to make sure that he was not neglecting any of his relationships. He found that after a long day at work, taking care of the kids, and cleaning the house, that one of the best things he and his wife could do together was to read the Bible. “I want to encourage everyone to let the word of God be the nucleus of relationships,” says Alex. “It does the work of building relationships like nothing else.”
Based on his simple studying structure — and a lot of hard work — Alex completed his degree while continuing to nurture his relationships. He also saw the fruition of his goals to increase his knowledge and ministry effectiveness. Through the DMin program he developed a new and innovative school curriculum, and has now implemented it at Peoples Christian Academy. “I’m not using my degree as a stepping stone to somewhere else,” he says. “I just want it to be a catalyst for more effective ministry where I already am.”