posted on May 16, 2016 09:00
Two days after they both graduate from Campbell Divinity, Lane and Susan Bass will set off in an R.V. for Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, North Dakota. The couple will spend the summer there serving with A Christian Ministry in the National Parks (CNP).
The nonprofit places seminarians and college students in parks around country to do relational ministry with seasonal staff and lead weekly worship services.
“It’s an opportunity to do ministry in a non-traditional setting,” Susan said.
If they enjoy their summer experience, they’ll look at serving at another park and then perhaps another and another. Eventually, Lane imagines he’ll serve in a traditional congregational context, and Susan in a non-traditional context of ministry.
Wherever they end up, they said, Campbell Divinity will hold a special place in their heart. It’s where they met.
They shared a class together during their first semester at Campbell Divinity in the fall of 2012.
Susan wasn’t looking for a relationship, and Lane was a little shy. They started as friends.
One day Lane spotted Susan in the library looking confused at a stack of books. He asked her if she needed help. She said yes, he helped her, and they got dinner after. They married in December 2014.
“People make jokes about how many people meet their spouses here, and it is a great place to meet a spouse,” Susan said. “It was great to experience Campbell Divinity with him.”
They bounced ideas off each other, reflected on class discussions together, shared textbooks, and lifted each other up.
“Our whole relationship, from inception to engagement to marriage happened against the backdrop of Campbell Divinity, so it will necessarily always be an incredibly special place for us,” Lane said.
Campbell Divinity is also special because “it’s more than just a school,” Susan said. “It’s a community.”
Lane saw that community spirit during his first visit to Campbell Divinity. He had been accepted to his first choice for divinity school. But when he visited Campbell Divinity, he fell in love with it. The daughter of a Campbell graduate, Susan didn’t apply anywhere else.
“Everybody cares about you here,” Lane said. “Students, staff, and faculty are interested in far more than how you do as a student. They care about your whole life. You can expect people to show up at weddings and ordinations, you can expect prayers when things are difficult, you can expect questions about your family, friends, and jobs.”
The Campbell Divinity professors are ministers first, too, he added. “All understand that they are there to do something more than disseminate information. They know their role is to train ministers who are attentive to God’s call and willing and able to answer.”