posted on June 30, 2011 11:26
By Ellen Rose, CUDS Class of 2007
Earning the M.Div. degree at CUDS was among the greatest experiences of my life. From the day I interviewed with Kheresa Harmon and senior faculty and staff who weren’t too busy to say hello, to my high-and-holy graduation day in 2007, my journey at Campbell Divinity School was a Christ-centered experience. The days were hectic and nights long as working fulltime competed with divinity school requirements. However, each time I asked, “Can I keep doing this?” God answered with experiences, faces, hugs, encouragement, and lessons offered by the most caring and committed staff and faculty I have ever been privileged to know.
God’s final affirmation came when, ten days after graduation, the supervisor of my field placement at UNC Pastoral Care offered me a part-time position that uniquely fit my schedule. Four years later I still love serving a level-one trauma center as weekend chaplain for our 800+ bed facility. Campbell’s commitment to provide ministry-focused education equipped me for the demands and privileges of responding to God’s call. Its commitment to a Bible-based focus has allowed me to serve as adult education lay coordinator in my United Methodist church, leading a number of Bible studies for men and women who seek to know God’s Word.
It has been my privilege to recommend Campbell Divinity School to five prospective students. Four eventually came to CUDS and gleaned valuable discernment and seminary education. Today one writes copyrighted articles on her own website for inspiring Christian values in everyday life; one is an ordained United Methodist elder; another is an ordained Episcopal deacon heading for priesthood; and another received her Christian education Master’s Degree at Campbell. The fifth person is considering applying within the next year. What appeals to them is what appealed to me: quality divinity school education offered by a caring and committed staff that assures competent theological education with a focus on application to ministry.
Until this year my financial support of CUDS had been negligible. But reading Dean Wakefield’s appeal to increase the giving base of graduates made sense. If the widow’s mite could further the Kingdom, surely my $15 a month can, too. If in Jesus’ hands five loaves and two fishes fed multitudes, God can use my meager contribution as well. It was too difficult to recommend how my contribution be used, so I asked Irma Duke to decide. How appropriate she chose Dr. Braswell’s world studies program! That portion of my CUDS education and Dr. DeBrand’s preaching instruction informed more of my life in ministry than any other aspect of my M.Div. education. As a “non-Baptist” in ministry with The United Methodist Church, I especially appreciate the scholarships that allowed me to graduate from Campbell and pray God’s guidance on others who seek to answer God’s call to this remarkable institution.