May  2011 13
Beginnings & Endings

I remember starting here almost six years ago and really having no idea what I was getting into.  I had just finished my Masters in Library and Information Studies and was ready to start a completely new career at what a lot of people would call “mid-life”. When I got the chance to interview at PTS, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I accepted the job and jumped in with both (albeit, somewhat cold) feet!  

Then the questions started coming… Could I find something on Ireneaus? (who?)  How do I do a word study? (a what?)  How do you pronounce “Didache”? (humm…)  I quickly realized that everything I’d learned in Sunday school was not going to be enough to get me by. I started by taking an online class in Theological Librarianship. (I didn’t realize there was such a thing.)  Then I decided that if I really wanted to understand what our students were studying and to be better prepared to help them find what they needed, I should take classes. I started with Brandon Scott’s “Introduction to the New Testament” – nothing like diving in headfirst! This semester I completed the requirements for the Certificate in Graduate Theological Studies.  

Today I participated in the chapel service for graduates. I really didn’t feel as if I should be standing there with the people who were finishing Masters degrees. I’ve only completed eighteen hours of theological education and I know I’ve barely scratched the surface.  I’ve been amazed by my fellow students and what they bring to the classes – their commitment, their faith, and their willingness to listen and to share. I admire their dedication, as well. Most of our students have families, jobs and other commitments. Many of them make long drives to take classes. Others take classes online, which is just as difficult.  

To the students who are graduating on Saturday, congratulations! I’m proud and happy to have shared a small part of your journey and your seminary experience. I wish you all the best. In closing, I’d like to share this blessing by Kate Braestrup, a Unitarian minister.   

May love and strength be in your hands

May love and courage be in your heart

May love and wisdom be in your mind

May God go with you and work through you

Today and in all your days.

-Kate Baestrup


From, “Beginners Grace: Bringing Prayers to Life”

© 2010 Free Press

Browse more posts by: Clair Powers, Phillips Admin/Staff
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