13 September 2013

Getting a Doctorate and a Full-time History Gig

The last few months have been a whirlwind. I've just finished the first month of what I started out to get just over three years ago. I started my doctoral program at the University of North Dakota in August 2010, and the three years flew by. I was able to graduate on time with a Doctor of Arts in history. My dissertation looked at the early days of the Baptist communities in North Dakota. The project focused upon archival materials that were in the Chester Fritz library and the state archives in Bismarck. I had a major chapter on the state-level church and one of the local Grand Forks congregation. Fortunately, my committee signed off on it in time for graduation in May.

Just before graduation, I had the second of two interviews that I got from about 30-40 applications to various private high schools, community colleges, 4-year colleges, Bible colleges, small universities with master's programs, post-doctoral fellowships, and just about anything else in between. The school was in a rural community in Northwest Kansas, and I fortunately got the job. I must admit that I was a bit concerned before getting an offer because of the common tales of those holding doctorates in the humanities that have to adjunct for years. I did not really want to become a freeway flyer and try to find as many adjunct jobs as possible.

While my position is basically geared at teaching, as was my terminal degree, I'm hoping to revise parts of my dissertation in the next few months for publication. I'm just happy that I've been able to achieve a goal of becoming a college-level instructor that I had starting back as an undergrad nearly two decades ago.