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Jana Carter, (MDiv Connections)

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Jana Carter
(MDiv Connections)

LindaI considered coming to Bethany before, but now seems to be the perfect time. While I spent much of my life in California, a member of the La Verne Church of the Brethren, I currently live in Washington, DC with my husband, Van, and our two sons, Cabral (age 6) and Mattai (age 2).

I am a lawyer by training and practiced civil rights litigation for seven years before working with California public school administrators on resolving personnel conflicts in their districts and on their school sites. I began training in mediation several years ago and now serve Search for Common Ground, a global nonprofit organization committed to conflict transformation worldwide. I am director of our national racial healing program, called The One America Project.

I finally chose to attend Bethany Theological Seminary after I returned from a Congressional civil rights pilgrimage to Alabama in March 2010. The pilgrimage commemorated the 45th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday (March 7, 1965), one of many brutal moments during the course of the civil rights movement. During that pilgrimage, I came to a deeper understanding that our struggle for peace must be grounded in a spiritual foundation. That is, our reconciliation efforts and justice initiatives are far more effective when rooted in something beyond us.

I am grateful, so grateful for the Connections program that affords me the opportunity to ground my commitment to reconciliation with my passion for the spiritual journey -- all from a distance.

Jody Gunn
(MDiv Connections)

JodyIn the summer of 2006, I made a pact with a high school friend to make our fortieth decade significant. My goal was to complete my Master of Divinity degree before I turned fifty years old. Inside I asked myself and God, "How is this was going to be possible?" Eventually, I was willing to be open to it. My life seemed crazy enough without adding seminary to the mix. I am married to Eric and have two children 15 and 10, so I run a household. I serve a church half time and find many opportunities to volunteer in our community. In spite of the busyness of my life I said "Yes!" to Bethany because I really was at a point in my life where it made sense.