Q: Name some fun facts about you that not everyone knows.
I browse airline flight prices to various locations in the world for fun. In the past, if I am around people with a certain accent in English or in another language long enough, I begin to speak like them. I could (and have for certain periods in my life) eat beans every day. I’ve swum with wild dolphins.
Q: Why did you decide to come to divinity school?
I didn’t know it was a decision. I say that only half-humorously. I really love God, talking about God, studying God, hearing about God, seeing God in others. I could do (this) divinity school over and over and over again, without all of the papers and deadlines of course.
What is your dual-degree program? And how did you know it was the right fit?
My dual-degree program is the master of arts in counseling. I knew it was the right fit because I knew that I valued relationships with people and inadvertently found myself in counseling-like (and lite) relationships before I even considered the profession. I knew divinity school was coming down the pike for years and resisted that for as long as I could tolerate the pain of not doing it, and counseling seemed like a natural complement to ministry. And hey, getting paid for what I was doing for free anyway seemed like a good idea.
What makes WFUSD a great fit for you?
That it’s ecumenical—I love the exposure to different theologies, rituals, and traditions. I have the opportunity to learn something different, to decide for myself, to engage in conversation or a practice other than the familiar. I am forever grateful I chose to come to an ecumenical school rather than a denomination-specific seminary. My education and faith is much richer and broader, and my attitude is (I hope) more accepting and flexible than it would have been otherwise.
Which professors have helped you grow in your discernment process?
I would say John Senior and Chris Copeland, in helping me find clarity and guiding me to and through some vocational pathways I may not have considered before.
Is there a particular class that’s left a lasting impression on you?
Are you kidding? All of them. Dr. Wall’s tohuvabohu and talking animal comments and commentary, Dr. Shaner’s resurrection of Paul for me, Dr. Leonard’s sermonettes in class laced with lovely quotes from historical figures, dancing in world religions, Dr. Copeland’s ways of wisdom. I can’t name them all, but I’ve kept the notebooks for later reference.
Any words of wisdom you’d like to leave for first years? Second years?
Learn when “done” is better than “perfect.” Being a GHD is a great way to meet people outside of the divinity school and become really close to those that are also GHDs. You also forfeit a lot of other things when taking that job. Soak up the knowledge of all of your professors; they are most wonderful.
A yoga-meditation retreat on the Pacific Coast, and perhaps some other coastal locations, depending on my fun searches.
What will you miss most about WFUSD?
Chapel, community lunch, and always feeling like I was being ministered to by students and faculty. Shonda with the latest.
Favorite drink and the theologian you would like to share it with?
Coffee with Roger Haight and Dr. Tupper. His Christology class probably made the largest impact on my theology (in a good way!).