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Brian Mackie, Master of Divinity '07

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Brian Mackie
Master of Divinity '07

BrianSometimes it takes looking back to see God's leading in life. I graduated from Bethany in May 2007 and realized that God led my entire theological training. In the summer of 2002, however, it was a little tougher to see where it was going.

I realized my call to full-time ministry and knew it was to journey into the educational training part of my call. My campus pastor and I had several conversations about this next step. I fasted and prayed and sought the Lord but had no clear answer by the end of the fast. As I was preparing to break my fast, the Lord asked me, "What is the desire of your heart?" I replied, "Oral Roberts University."

I discussed this option with my campus pastor and he thought that was a good move, but we also talked about a possible transfer later to Bethany, seeing how I felt at that time I would likely be a Brethren minister. I had a surprisingly good campus visit. I say surprisingly because I originally had gone there only to confirm that was not where I wanted to go. I already enjoyed a great visit to ORU and knew in my heart that I loved it. Bethany, however, had its own appeal to me. So I was torn as to where to go. Once I went to ORU, the Lord confirmed that I was to transfer to Bethany after two years.

I loved my time at ORU and felt like I got a great education in the Lord. But my time at Bethany gave me new challenges and helped me to grow in my appreciation for Brethren history and practices as well as some Brethren distinctives like the peace witness. It also gave me some great connections with Church of the Brethren conversation partners both at Bethany and the partner school Earlham School of Religion.

After the journey it is clear to see that God was bringing together a wonderful seminary experience. Bethany's faculty really helped to shape me in positive ways. I am now an Associate Pastor at New Life Christian Fellowship, a Church of the Brethren congregation in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, and lead our college ministry outreach to Central Michigan University, Standing in the Gap Christian Fellowship. I am thankful to God for leading me both to ORU and to Bethany.

Monica Rice
Master of Arts

MonicaIt is no small task to choose a topic that will hold enough interest to devote countless hours and hundreds of pages of reading and writing. I have found that topic in researching the tradition of the prayer covering in the Church of the Brethren. This practice piqued my curiosity because of the lack of available writing and discussion about it. For instance, the last time that Annual Meeting/Conference addressed the covering was 1925!