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Monica Rice, Master of Arts

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Monica Rice
Master of Arts

MonicaWhen my vocational calling led me to consider a seminary education, I visited Bethany out of a sense of Brethren obligation. Growing up in a Brethren family and congregation, attending a Brethren college, and then participating in several years of Brethren Volunteer Service, I felt a strong commitment to Brethren institutions. However, I felt ready to experience a different faith community for graduate study. I made plans to attend an urban Chicago seminary, but chose to visit Bethany to know that I had considered it as an option.

My prospective student visit was filled with community, appreciation for vocation, and deep listening to the Spirit’s gentle leading. I was overwhelmed with the dedication and academic excellence of the faculty that took personal time to greet me and share their encouragement of my vocational path. It was refreshing to see passion for the work of the church and theological study, and because of the visit I realized that what I perceived as a sense of obligation is actually underpinning dedication and enthusiasm for the unique ministries of the Church of the Brethren.

In the fall of 2008 I will be attending Bethany Theological Seminary as a Master of Arts candidate, working with faculty to integrate the passions of my life: the study of religion with literature, with goals to use my education to teach at the undergraduate or graduate level. Although some of my course work may be groundbreaking for the Bethany curriculum, I found faculty were truly interested in developing my sense of calling and discovering with me what this sort of integration may mean. I am extremely excited to begin my studies and continue my journey in the community of Bethany Theological Seminary.

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."