By: Sammy Klipsch, MDiv 2019
I was once asked what kind of seminary Wesley is. Is it a head, heart or hand seminary? What a question! One that we should be asking ourselves as we discern what kind of seminary education we want, what kind of seminary we want to be and what kind of church we want to be. Reflecting on that question, I truly believe Wesley Theological Seminary encompasses all three. We are rooted in faith and academics, yet also provide opportunity in class and field education to translate what we learn into something practical.
Wesley Theological Seminary is a school that cares about the practical implications of theology and faith. Our mission is to equip persons for Christian ministry and leadership in the church and the world, to advance theological scholarship, and to model a prophetic voice in the public square.
Wesley is a place that invites students to wrestle with their faith and beliefs by asking big questions like: what is the role of Christian and religious ethics in public life? What is the role of a leader? What is the role of an ally? What does it mean to have a pastoral presence? What does it mean to live in the brokenness of this world but also in its beauty? And what does it mean “to model a prophetic voice in the public square?”
The last line of our mission statement has proven to be even more important to me throughout my time at Wesley. In times of transition in our country and in different religious denominations, this goal of modeling a prophetic voice in the public square is not to be taken lightly. Wesley doesn’t take it lightly. I’m inspired by the passionate people who are creating justice within the world through our Community Engagement Fellowship, the National Capital Semester for Seminarians and all of our specializations.
I had the opportunity to participate in the Community Engagement Fellows as a Missional Fellow. The Community Engagement Fellows allow students to combine both classroom and community-based learning to form a ministry project that engages in the community they serve. Through this program I’ve learned a lot of practical skills, like how to fundraise, develop support for new ideas, and how to cast a vision and see it through step by step. I’ve experienced the importance of trust when entering a new community, which allows you take a step that maybe hasn’t been taken before. I have been able to use things I’ve learned in the classroom like different theologies, ethics, and exegesis as tools to read scripture in context and to work to serve a community that welcomed me in when I moved to D.C. to start seminary.
“To model a prophetic voice in the public square” is what we are called to do as leaders in the church and the world. Wesley has given me the tools to do this and has connected me with a network of people who work to do the same. I’m still discerning what ministry will look like in the future for me, but I am beyond thankful for Wesley for being that prophetic space to create change. I hope you follow where God is calling you and that you check out all Wesley Theological Seminary offers. Stop by our table at Wild Goose to learn more!
We’re so proud to have Wesley Theological Seminary as a partner and sponsor of #WildGoose2018