Last week, the semi-annual Inquirers Weekend was held at SFTS, covering a lot of ground over a three-day period. The program offered the chance for prospective seminarians to live a ‘day in the life’ of an SFTS student, interacting with faculty, staff, and current students.
The highlight of the first day included a welcome gathering with the President of SFTS, Rev. Dr. James McDonald, followed by dinner with Rev. Dr. Jana Childers, Dean of the Seminary. Later, participants had the chance to attend an on-campus evening event featuring Kimberly Burge, an author and journalist visiting from Washington, D.C. Burge was in town to participate in a panel discussion with McDonald about her book, The Born Frees: Writing with the Girls of Gugulethu.
Day two included a campus tour, a discussion on choosing theological education with Professor Laurie Garrett-Cobbina, and Theology II class with Professor Gregory Love.
Inquirers attended worship services alongside current students, staff, and faculty, as well as members of the San Anselmo community. Rev. Scott Clark, Associate Dean of Student Life and Chaplain, preached on “Vulnerability,” drawing inspiration from Psalm 139, which Clark said, “is a hold in your heart psalm…assuring us that God is with us all the time, everywhere.”
After lunch, Rev. Elizabeth McCord, Associate Dean for Vocations, moderated a conversation in which the prospective students asked questions of three current students. Each of the current students mentioned the boon of SFTS being connected with the Graduate Theological Union (GTU). One student described the benefit of not having to live in the busy environment of Berkeley, yet still having the opportunity to take classes from any of the GTU member seminaries located there, including a wide variety of interfaith classes. (Regular van service runs from SFTS to the GTU.)
Other Friday activities included a panel titled, “Communities of Support: Planning for Seminary,” which highlighted financial aid and scholarship information. The evening concluded with more chances for the inquirers to meet faculty and staff in a casual setting, the on-campus Holy Grounds student lounge.
The third and final day’s agenda gave a chance for attending worship at the nearby First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo and later, taking a trip to Berkeley for the GTU Fair.
Are you interested in exploring your next steps? Inquirers Weekends are held in February and November of each year. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, or fill out register now.