Claire Flowers-Waggener, Master of Divinity

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Claire Flowers-Waggener
(Master of Divinity)

ClaireChoosing to respond to "the call" can be a gut-wrenching experience that takes years to resolve, and in some cases, the choice is made in an instant, life-altering moment. In a moment, I chose to respond to a yearning in my heart that had been aching for decades.

I then had to choose which seminary I would attend!

I became interested in Bethany because of its affiliation with the Church of the Brethren (CoB). Aside from a distant family connection to the CoB, I am "new" Brethren, as I grew up Methodist and came to the Brethren a couple of years ago. As I chose to come into the CoB, I wanted to further my education in Christ within the context of the CoB, as well as to support the CoB with my resources and skills.

The Campus Visit Day ultimately convinced me to attend Bethany. Two aspects that were important to me in choosing a seminary were addressed: educational substance and an environment where students feel accepted and safe enough to express their faith. During the campus visit, I was able to participate in a live class. I loved it! I loved the subject matter, and I loved the professor's teaching style. At that class, I confirmed to myself that a seminary program, wherever it would be, was definitely where I would be most happy. After the formal program was over, my husband and I spent time with current seminarians in the student gathering area, playing board games. Even though we didn't know anyone, everyone included us as if we were already known colleagues. I felt that we were accepted, and that Bethany was the kind of community I wanted to be a part of while going through seminary.

My husband Keegan and I relocated to the Richmond campus in August 2010. We were sad to leave our church (Oakton CoB), our friends, and our family in Virginia, but we are enjoying our new life in Richmond, Indiana. We continue to be blessed by the Bethany community's (students' and faculty's) support each step of this journey.