Kaycee Young has always felt drawn to ministry, but it was her experience as the director of the Wesley Foundation at Northeastern State University that ignited her desire for theological education.
“I've always felt a call to ministry,” she said, “but it wasn't until I began this line of work that I understood what was behind my call.”
Young was asked to apply as the foundation’s interim director in January 2011. She fell in love with both the students and the ministry at the Wesley Foundation at NSU while pursuing educational opportunities at the University of Oklahoma. Though she has previously served as a music minister and a youth pastor, she says the campus ministry is a good fit.
“It’s the difference of shoes that are too small or too big,” she said. “This one is just right.”
When Young did not receive the scholarships she was pursuing at OU, she decided to continue her work on NSU’s campus and became the executive director. Realizing her need for more education, she began to take theology classes in Oklahoma City. She transferred to Phillips Theological Seminary in the fall of 2012.
“My students are very interested in what I am learning at school, and we spend many hours discussing the things that I find myself pondering and questioning,” Young said. “They don’t expect me to have any answers, so it’s fun to wrestle things out with them.”
Young describes the Wesley Foundation as an extension ministry of the United Methodist Church that focuses solely on college students. Specifically, she hopes that students at NSU will become more involved both in the campus ministry and in the greater Christian community. Young says that her greatest challenge so far has been counseling.
“The counseling side of ministry was the biggest challenge but by far the most rewarding for me,” she said. “It was a challenge not to be an enabler and know how to guide students to help themselves.”
Young says because her time as a campus minister and a seminary student are almost simultaneous, her time at Phillips has helped her grow both in ministry and in theology.
“I have grown exponentially in my thoughts about theological ideas, and I am able to see theology in everyday places,” Young said. “I have a better understanding of what I've always believed and more questions than I could have ever imagined.”