Natalie Johnston recently finished her second year as an M.Div. student at Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary with a mentoring internship at the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty in Washington, D.C. Last night, she gathered with other seminarians from around the country to fellowship and reflect upon their experiences so far at this year’s General Assembly.
“There are so many visionaries here who have so much to offer,” Johnston said. “I want to learn new skills for ministry while I’m here, beyond what we learn in the classroom.” She argued that many seminarians are looking for more than just meetings at this year’s General Assembly. “It’s about reconnecting with people and expanding my own network of future friends and colleagues, which is just as important for us as it is for the established CBF community.”
Today, Johnston attended a workshop to learn from one of her own spiritual mentors, Dean of Wake Forest School of Divinity, Bill Leonard. His session was titled, “Before we lay on hands: Taking ordination seriously,” and addressed questions such as, “have ‘drive-thru’ ordinations become the order of the day?”
Along with many other seminarians, Johnston also planned to attend one of today’s most talked-about workshops, “A family conversation about same-sex orientation.” These are just two of numerous sessions focused on the future of the church – and encouraging conversations among the seminarians who will lead the future church.
Johnston wants to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a pastor when she finishes school.
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