Lanham, MD (DC Metro)
Master of Divinity, 3rd year
Exploring the AME Church
I felt in my heart that it was right, and in making the decision to come here, there was a peace and stillness.
For what vocation is Drew preparing you?
I am still exploring options for the future; however, I do know that I will minister in the capacity of teaching and education. Where and how is still to be determined. My education here has sharpened my hunger for asking questions that I was once afraid to ask aloud, in the privacy of close friends, and sometimes even in my own mind. At Drew, the unthinkable is often the appreciated question. I have learned that our questions speak more about our hearts and spirits than the answers do, and I now know and believe that every child of God deserves to have those questions met with sincerity and correct information. In whatever capacity I serve, this knowledge will always stay with me.
What do you bring to Drew?
I like to think that I bring smiles, laughter, sincerity and an open mind to Drew. Of course, Drew has helped me in all of these areas: learning not to take myself too seriously, and to laugh a lot. I have always been a person who appreciates sincerity and honesty in others, so I try my best to be that kind of person. I believe that is what has helped me get along with so many different people, and to learn so much from this experience. That goes hand in hand with something that Drew has helped me expand: having an open-mind. Being an open-minded person is not always easy, but it is easier when working with people who share a sacred trust and honor one another in the spirit of learning.
How will you have changed when you graduate from Drew?
So far, I can say that my faith has grown deeper and stronger than it ever was before I came here. Although the unknown can be as unsettling as something new, I have come to know that God is with me and with us, through every time of certainty and uncertainty. I also have come back around to the place where my spiritual thoughts and wonderings are worth mulling over, sharing with others and being researched. For a while, I censored myself, but now I know that there is no question, no quest, no inquiry too big or too hard for God. I believe that is the invaluable thing that Drew returned to me: my will and want to wonder with reckless and joyful abandon.
What is your favorite aspect of community life at Drew?
I love the moments between class or after class where growing theologians (classmates!) come together and discuss relevant issues that blend faith, the church, and the world both near and far. In these times, classmates become friends and also people you hope to know for many years of life and ministry after the diploma is issued.
What advice do you have for prospective Drew students?
Drew is a place for people who have questions that burn to be answered. There is no other place that I have ever been where your questions are welcome both in and out of the classroom. There are professors, administrators and students who are all willing to engage you in your thoughts and feelings – this is what makes Drew very unique. I would encourage you to consider how much you are really willing to grow and be dedicated to personal growth because seminary is not for the faint of heart or the person who is unwilling to learn what they do not know. Seriously consider whether you only want to confirm what you think you know, or if you want to know what you do not know.
What is your favorite dish served at Drew community meals?
I don’t know if this qualifies as a “dish”, but I am always grateful to participate in the communion services in chapel on Thursdays. It is a beautiful thing to see so many different faces from all walks of life come to the table and share a moment of peace and serenity. It does not matter if my Thursday begins before 10 and ends after 10; I never regret coming to a Thursday chapel and sharing the bread and cup with my community. I know this is one thing I will certainly miss because such unity in diversity does not exist in very many places outside Drew.