Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Called to seminary, but ministry?

Danielle Graham MDiv program studentDanielle Graham ’14, MDiv student at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, felt called to seminary before she felt called to ministry.

“All my friends would ask me, ‘Why would you be called to go to seminary if you’re not called to ministry?’  I would say, ‘I don’t know why, I just know I have to go.’”

However, she didn’t pursue seminary immediately after receiving her degree in social work at University of Pittsburgh. She went to work. Yet after a few years, life was not feeling quite right, and a friend who was attending PTS at the time encouraged her to apply. So she did, and was accepted. Over the course of her years here, Danielle has been spiritually, emotionally, and academically challenged, but most importantly felt her call to ministry.

“I used to be nervous about being called to ministry.” Danielle said, “I thought being called to ministry only meant saving the sinners and bringing in the lost, and I’ve never felt like that was my passion.”

Her passion is for revitalizing the church, specifically how the church can combine genres, training leaders in more than one area in order to create a more effective church. This call to help train and prepare is not just for preachers and teachers of the church, but all members, in order to be a more faithful body.

One way Danielle has been already living out this call is working with a faith-based organization called TWOgether Pittsburgh, whose focus is on marital enrichment. The organization works to strengthen marriages, thereby families, and therefore the community. TWOgether Pittsburgh partners with churches and to train and facilitate classes. 

Currently Danielle is leading the TWOgether Pittsburgh singles seminars, where she uses her experiences to illustrate how a person of faith can navigate the circumstances that keep them from joining a church community. During these seminars, she also shows how to have more authentic relationships, how to engage with people, and how to live with the mistakes we all make.

Danielle plans to continue working with TWOgether Pittsburgh after graduation as she discerns the next steps of moving into full-time ministry, finding the peace and joy of following where God was calling her.

 

Written June 2014