By Christy Barritt
Seminary Graduates in Record Debt
A new study has found that many seminary graduates are dealing with overwhelming debt. Because of this, the graduates are moonlighting or even going full-time at other jobs in order to make ends meet.
The study was done by the Center for the Study of Theological Education and showed that more than a quarter of students who graduated in 2011 with a Master of Divinity degree had more than $40,000 in debt and five percent had more than $80,000.
Some of these graduates (29 percent) had to choose another job outside of the ministry in order to pay down this financial obligation because their salary in ministry wasn’t enough to pay back their loans. The study also found that two-thirds of seminary graduates said they would have borrowed less money if they could have done it again.
Samaritan’s Purse Partners with Liberian Government
Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief agency, has partnered with the Liberian government after an Ebola outbreak in the region.
The nonprofit organization is providing emergency medical supplies, as well as conducting awareness campaigns in various parts of the country after the disease claimed the lives of more than 89 people throughout west Africa earlier this year.
Franklin Graham heads the ministry and said in a statement, “Our team in Liberia is committed to doing all we can to share God’s love with Liberian people by providing medical support and other relief.”
The Liberian government named Samaritan’s Purse, along with the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a high-level task force.
Ebola causes a hemorrhagic fever that kills up to 90 percent of those infected, is highly contagious, and is considered one of the world’s deadliest viruses.
Cancer Patient No Longer a Victim
When patients walk into the Methodist Hospital Estabrook Cancer Center in Omaha, Nebraska, to undergo chemotherapy, a familiar face greets them. Jon McAlpin, a 60-year-old retired firefighter, tries to bring comfort and cheer to patients and families who are facing cancer.
Despite his cheerful countenance, most people don’t know that McAlpin himself has a rare form of intestinal cancer that he says will eventually kill him. When McAlpin first got the diagnosis, he planned his own suicide. But when a doctor convinced him that he could still find purpose in his remaining days, he decided to do just that.
He never misses a day of greeting patients, even when he has chemo himself. He told CBS News that he’s not a cancer victim anymore now that he’s discovered the joy of helping others.
Violent Video Games Related to Aggressive Behavior
A new study claims that violent video games train children to think and act more aggressively. The study was conducted at Iowa State University and published in Jama Pediatrics.
The study’s lead author, Douglas Gentile, an associate professor of psychology, said he wanted to look at what actually changed in the brain that would account for this relationship between game play and actions.
Researchers discovered that these video games affect how children see the world in three ways: they cause children to attribute hostility to other people’s actions, make aggression seem OK when provoked, and increase their aggressive fantasies.
Researchers call this behavior “priming,” which occurs when prior situations influence a person’s perception of their current situation. Kids playing these games are often primed to see aggression, even when no aggression is occurring.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.