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Sue Ross, Master of Arts '08

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Sue Ross
Master of Arts '08

SueAbout eight years ago, everywhere I turned, I felt a nudge and heard a voice to study and learn about God. I would hear it in discussions with friends, in sermons, in song, in prayers, and in silence. I wanted to ignore that voice because I had a full-time job in the business world that I enjoyed. However, God's voice never stopped, so I enrolled at Bethany Theological Seminary. It all started as a very personal reason with no expectation of using a degree but simply a way to experience God.

I was scared, because I had not been in class for twenty-five years. I was nervous, because I was not an expert on the Bible, and I had very little knowledge of the great theologians that I would study. I was apprehensive, because I lived two hours away from Richmond and had a full-time job. Overall, I felt unqualified and unprepared.

However, God had amazing things in store for me. I loved the challenging classes and discussions. I read books that inspired me. I learned from professors that had great passion and knowledge. I was hooked when I experienced the challenge to dig deep in my understanding of God. With each class, I had to take old beliefs I learned as a child, examine them, discuss them, and finally either own or discard them. The whole experience helped me to find the living God and provided me a journey of richness, wholeness, and healing.

Perhaps the best part of the seminary journey was the transformation of the reason that I attended Bethany Theological Seminary. It was not about the degree nor was it about becoming a pastor or a theologian, but it was about integrating faith and work. I am currently using my experience as a businesswoman and a seminary graduate to develop workshops and resources that help business leaders bring spirituality into their workplaces. The personal reason that I took the journey has become public, and I am continuing to learn how to bring the love of God to my own corner of the world.

Matt Wollam-Berens
(MDiv Connections)

MattIsaiah 55:1-3
"Everyone who thirsts,
come to the water . . .
Why spend your money
for what is not bread,
and your labor for that
which does not satisfy?"

For me, discovering Bethany was like finding a stream of living water in the desert. Jesus walked out of the desert after being baptized by his cousin John and proclaimed, "Reform your lives, the Kingdom of God is here!" And then he called his first disciples. He did not first make them recite a creed, he did not give them dogma, or theology. He simply said, "Follow me."