Home > Community > Phillips Stories > Marnie Leinberger Thanks

I was going to start this note of thanks by giving a brief history about how I arrived at Phillips and include the statement that, “I’m not your typical seminary student.” But having spent the last five years at Phillips, I don’t think there is a “typical” student at Phillips. And for that I am extremely grateful.

I didn’t take a traditional path to seminary. I don’t have a traditional history with church. But I have felt a call – a call that I was able to fully hear until I started to attend a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregation in my town. In fact, I’d say that others heard my call before I did.

My pastor suggested I apply to Phillips. I did, was accepted, and I’m on the edge of graduating from the Master of Divinity program in May 2016. As an out lesbian, I’ll be an ordained minister with an atypical view of church, pastoring a local congregation and ministering to people who feel like they have been rejected from “mainstream” religion.

This would not be possible without the generous support of people who give so much to the scholarship programs at Phillips. Through their support, I am able to answer a call to serve God that might otherwise have gone unheeded. My life has been transformed by the things I have learned, and by the people I have met.

When someone gives to the scholarship program at PTS, perhaps the thought is that a student will have an easier time obtaining a degree. But it is so much more than that. Phillips Seminary graduates are equipped and empowered to bring a message of hope and strength to people who need to hear a message of hope and strength.

Phillips gives us the courage to speak a prophetic word on behalf of people who have been ignored, marginalized, scorned.  

I am so deeply grateful to those who have made my education possible. You are helping to make the world a better, brighter place. And I am blessed by your generosity.


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