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Crossing the Finish Line

The road to a graduate degree can involve some unexpected detours. Some of our 2012 master’s graduates shared their detours. One graduate had twins while completing her degree; at least four accepted calls and moved; and another needed to manage a personal issue. Despite the challenges, they all finished their degrees! How did that happen?

As the graduates reflected on their master’s degree journeys, they recounted two factors that helped them finish – support and program flexibility.

Successful graduates had the support of their families. Spouses took on extra loads so the graduate student could take time for studying. As Susan Heinitz shared, “My family was very supportive. I was able to get time to work in the evenings. My husband was great with watching kids, and I was able to finish.”

Schools and congregations also supported our graduates with encouragement and financial help. Jason Kelley put it this way: “I’m very thankful to St. John’s-Libertyville and St. John’s-Redwood Falls for their contributions, not only monies, but also support and prayers.”

Our graduates also credit Martin Luther College’s program flexibility and willingness to work with them in their unique situations. Michael Peek stated, “I felt the program was very flexible in working with me. There were several times where I had to take a break from the program because of things that were going on in my life. But they were more than willing to work through those difficulties with me and make sure I was able to finish the program."

When studies get tough, don’t give up. Seek support from your family and school, and contact the graduate studies office to request our help.