In Search of Faith that Works

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Arie Hefter

“I don’t know that I’ve ever worn that many sleeveless shirts in a Jewish context,” said Arie Hefter ’11. His Hawaiian placement included pastoral visits and wedding ceremonies. “In order to find God, I don’t have to rise above the world…. I’m praying with my feet.”

Five Pre-Ministerial Fellows spent their summer vacations
in concrete explorations of faith-based vocations.
………………………………………………………………………………..

By John Syme

Jewish tennis star from Alabama leads prayer on a Hawaiian beach, before meeting with the governor. A classics major immerses himself in the “holistic sense” of being fully in ministry at a Presbyterian Church in America congregation in Virginia.

An Episcopalian Kuykendall Scholar helps an inner-city Lutheran church in Minneapolis understand what it wants to be in life’s next chapter.

A campus Multicultural House leader reaches out to the communities of Washington, D.C. through the gay and lesbian ministry at her adopted PCUSA church.

The president of Davidson’s Intervarsity Fellowship works at a Maryland church where Catholic, Jewish, UCC, and Baptist congregations share interfaith dialogue.

These summer 2010 experiences formed the basis of the Pre-Ministerial Fellows program of the Chaplain’s Office. During the academic year, the five students met monthly to continue their faith explorations with Chaplain Rob Spach and Associate Professor of Religion Anne Blue Wills.

Pre-Ministerial Fellows are nominated by members of the community who spot students’ gifts for ministry.

“The calling comes from anywhere,” said Wills, backing up a simple idea with an ample portion of Reformed Tradition theology. “A calling, whatever it might be, requires that we dwell with it and meditate on it and reflect on it. That’s what the meetings throughout the year do.”

Jamie Hofmeister ’11 said her work in Washington, D.C., was “a guiding hand in what I wish to pursue. My job after graduation parallels what I experienced at [Church of the] Pilgrims: community organizing, GLBTQ ministry, and a communal approach to worship and congregational life.”

“Being in a real congregation was a way of making something abstract more concrete,” Matthew Capone ’11 said about his PCA experience.

Jessica Delgehausen ’11 said of her fellow Fellows, “We leave Davidson as close friends who will remain interested in each others’ journeys.”

At the end of the year, the five Fellows hosted a Q&A for prospects. Carrie Boyle ’11 opened the door wide: “If you have a strong conviction that you want to be a minister, come with that. If you have no idea what you’re doing here, come with that.”

Photo: Courtesy Arie Hefter

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