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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.

Katie Shaw Thompson
Master of Divinity

BethanyI have to admit I had no idea how much my cross-cultural trip to Marburg, Germany, would broaden my perspective. By immersing myself in German culture, I learned more about hospitality, theology, global politics, my neighbor, and myself than I thought possible in two weeks.

I was overwhelmed by the hospitality shown to us by the parish church and our host families. I will forever be grateful for those conversations across the table, across cultural differences, and across language barriers about the things that matter deeply to us all.