For Master of Divinity senior Katy Warren, being awarded a presidential scholarship was the final affirmation of her call to attend seminary. After college she took a year off from school and worked as a youth director. "During this time, I questioned my call to becoming a pastor," she said. "I wondered, 'Is this what I'm meant to do?'"
After applying to seminary, Warren chose to apply for a presidential scholarship, which would cover the full cost of her seminary tuition. She said she didn't really expect to receive the scholarship, so when the award letter arrived, she knew that God had opened the doors for her and that seminary was where she was meant to be.
Warren is now nearing the end of her seminary education and anxiously preparing for her first call to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa. Through this unique call, Warren will be part of a pastoral residency program, which is funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. The program, which is modeled after medical residency programs, is meant to provide pastors in their first call a supporting environment, where they can learn through a mentor partnership. Warren hopes that the call, which will last two years, will give her an opportunity for in-depth pastoral leadership training.
"A lot of first-call pastors are placed as solo pastors in rural ministry settings. For me, the appealing part of this call was the opportunity to jump right in with another seminarian (a graduate of the University of Chicago Divinity School) because we will be able to support each other throughout our first call," she said.
Warren also notes that St. Paul Lutheran is doing significant work in outreach ministry. "This will be a great opportunity to gain a lot of experience I wouldn't get otherwise," she said.
As she prepares for ordination and her first call, Warren says she feels equipped thanks to the many great resources she used throughout her time at seminary, including Working Preacher and Enter the Bible.
"Working Preacher was launched my second year at seminary," she said. "I always thought it was interesting when I (as a student worker) edited the weekly texts. Once I got to internship, I realized it wasn't just interesting, but immensely helpful. I'm sure once I get into a parish, I'll use it consistently."
She also notes that while on internship she used Enter the Bible for text studies, Bible studies, adult forums and women's ministry groups.
"These are excellent resources, really good, quality stuff," Warren said.
Gifts to Luther Seminary's Sustaining Fund make ministry happen for students like Warren. The Sustaining Fund is the lifeblood of the seminary and supports everything from student scholarships to faculty salaries and online resources like Working Preacher and Enter the Bible.
Support the Sustaining Fund today and make your gift go twice as far. Through the Make It Happen Challenge, any gift to the Sustaining Fund will be matched dollar-for-dollar through June 30, doubling your impact for future leaders like Warren. At Luther Seminary we are dedicated to preparing bold and courageous Christian leaders for a world in need of the gospel message.
Learn more at www.luthersem.edu/makeithappen. Help us make it happen. Give today!
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