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Meet Dione Corsilles

Dione Corsilles, Mdiv Student at Garrett-Evnagelical Theological Seminary
It’s the activity outside of the classroom in my Clinical Pastoral Education chaplaincy and pastoral internship placements, getting to know neighbors, serving in different ministries and stepping out of my comfort zone that has strengthened my faith and affirmed my calling.

Name: Dione Corsilles
Hometown:  Seattle, WA
Age: 40
Home church: Beacon United Methodist Church
Denomination: United Methodist
Degree program:  Master of Divinity

Tell us a little about yourself and your calling:

I'm a native Seattleite born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, a husband, and a dad with two young children. I love spending time with family and enjoy activities that keep us engaged and connected to neighbors and community. After completing my degree in Business Administration from the University of Washington, I worked in the world of Recruiting and Human Resources, leading personnel searches, and managing HR policies and services. I sensed an initial call to ministry after college, but said no and pursued another path. But over the years God continued to call and I rediscovered my love of connecting with people along their journey of life and faith. In the midst of balancing work and youth ministry, I heard the Spirit’s call to love, connect, and live out my call to church ministry as an elder in The United Methodist Church.

How did you come to choose Garrett Evangelical?

Two friends from my home church and my childhood pastor, all Garrett-Evangelical alumni, had only wonderful things to say and had transformational experiences at Garrett-Evangelical. They all encouraged me to visit and to seriously consider attending this seminary. As a person preparing for ministry as a second-career, I wanted to be in a place that fully supported my education, career, family, and financial transitions. As a family, we also wanted to be in a community and city where we felt comfortable laying down roots for three years. Garrett-Evangelical was the place for us.

What has surprised you about yourself and/or about seminary since you came to Garrett-Evangelical?

Prior to coming to Garrett-Evangelical, I talked to family and friends in ministry who have completed their MDivs to get a sense of the expectations and the rhythms of seminary life. The discovery and new things that came in each day, each lecture and every moment of reflection surprised me. I’ve learned to have a mindset of being open and attentive to God’s surprises and teachings in unexpected places. I came in well aware of my interests in pastoral care. But what surprised me was my growing interest and curiosity in theology and church history. 

How has your faith and/or calling been strengthened since being at Garrett-Evangelical?

My faith has been stretched and strengthened by gaining insight through reading and hearing different theological perspectives than my own. It’s the activity outside of the classroom in my Clinical Pastoral Education chaplaincy and pastoral internship placements, getting to know neighbors, serving in different ministries and stepping out of my comfort zone that has strengthened my faith and affirmed my calling. These experiences provided me the space to reflect, ask questions, struggle with and better engage the course reading and lectures that have impacted my learning. It's the outside involvement, the ministry activities, the coffee chats, and unexpected encounters that have connected and enriched my learning experience. 

What advice would you give someone who is considering pursuing theological education?

Aside from classroom time, reading and reflecting on course readings, make sure you invest in other activities and causes that you care about. Make time to be engaged, connected and aware of what’s happening in the community. A Garrett-Evangelical professor wisely commented that, “It’s only in knowing what’s going on, can we address what’s going on.” So, simply connect. I've learned that our focus, as bold leaders, as change agents in our communities and in the world, and as disciples of Christ is to connect with people and to connect our lives to God.