Obtaining a Ph.D.

As it turned out, my graduate education did not end with a Masters. Rogerís poem was an encouragement to obtain a doctorate. But the real reason was that I needed to be as equipped as possible to keep growing as a teacher for the Lord. Now, I had the time to do so since I had resigned from Trinity. So, I located a university where I could obtain a Ph.D. in Theology and remain in Sacramento. I discovered that Walden University offered distance education, which involved attendance at occasional seminars located throughout the United States. Walden was perfect for me. It allowed me to gear my studies around a basic framework and to relate and apply them to my area of teaching ministry. As a result, I wrote four books based upon my course work. I use these and others I have written as supplemental textbooks for the courses I teach. An added blessing was that my friend Kandee Mamula wanted to obtain a doctorate with me. So we traveled as buddies to seminars across the U.S. together.

My final course work was my dissertation entitled, The Concept of The Holy in the Pentateuch and Its Implications Toward Wholeness of Being and Ethical Effect. I have since made this into a book, Beholding The Holy, Being Changed. The defense of my dissertation was made on a conference call, with committee members in Alaska, Florida, Nebraska, and Minnesota. This defense just happened to be on October 28, 1994, which was the 28th birthday of our son, Tim. This birthday was called his royal birthday since he was 28 on the 28th. So it was already a special day! Plus, the members of my dissertation committee showed me favor, and at the conclusion, they said, "Congratulations, Dr. Phillips." Yeah! I had passed! Celebrating, we went out to eat, and at the restaurant I was awarded a balloon mortar board hat! Now I was officially a doctor in all my balloon glory!