At the end of 2007 I graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity, and at that time I had some consideration of immediately entering a doctoral program. I decided not to, for a variety of reasons. I suppose that if I had, I might have completed in 2010 and be 4 years post-degree by now.
Instead I choose a much slower path; I completed a 2 year full-time-equivalent MTh program which laid a further groundwork in the area of my specialty, I spent about 2.5 years ministering in an under-privileged area of Sydney, another year working in an over-privileged part of Sydney, and now almost 3 years in Mongolia, including 2 teaching.
Sometimes I regret that I did not 'advance' my 'academic career' more directly and swiftly. That, as we now go back so that I can return to full-time studies, I have little to 'show' on my cv for these years. At the same time, my hope is that this has made me a more well-rounded figure. The other day I reflected that I have undergraduate majors in philosophy, literature, classics, and theology. That is a breadth that few bring to the table these days.
The next 2 years will be a fairly intensive time of research, and like many I often suffer from imposter-syndrome. On the other hand I despise the hubris of some programs. Perhaps one day I will master my field, until then I feel like there is always so much to learn.