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Mailing Address
Garrett-Evangelical
2121 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60201

Phone: (847) 866-3971
Toll-Free: (800) SEMINARY
Fax: (847) 866-3989
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Meet Kentina Washington

KentinaHometown
Cleveland Heights, OH (Chicago area for the last eight years)

Age
31

Home Church & Denomination
Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, IL (UCC)

Degrees
B.A. in Public Administration (minors in Sociology and Black World Studies)
Miami University (Oxford, OH)

Garrett-Evangelical Degree Program/Year
I am a second-year M.Div. student, primarily concerned with developing skills in providing pastoral care in healthcare settings, with hopes to begin a career in chaplaincy post-seminary.  I am also particularly interested in eschatological issues related to suffering, death, dying, and bereavement, and spiritual disciplines for dealing with grief and loss.

Formative Vocational Experiences
Prior to seminary, I worked in a sales/marketing role for three major insurance companies. Much of my job was focused on building relationships, which was actually the part of the job I loved the most. In this role, I was in a variety of settings where I learned how to connect and adapt to populations with diverse needs, backgrounds, and competencies.  I never knew how much this experience would translate into seminary until I spent a summer as a clinical pastoral education (CPE) intern and was knocking on doors, “cold-calling” patients or being asked to enter into a crisis with a family as a loved one was dying.  Though I wasn’t “selling” anything, the ability to connect on a human level first with a variety of people and in a variety of different circumstances (the same things that fueled my business relationships) became very integral to my CPE experience.

Personal Information
I was born in the Cleveland area and moved to Chicago in 2003 due to a job transfer.  I have always been a theological ‘seeker,’ curious about God, different faith traditions and practices, and people’s relationships with organized (and disorganized) religion.  I was not raised in any particular faith tradition, but grew up visiting all types of churches and synagogues with having friends from many different backgrounds.  I spent the first seven years after college working as an insurance underwriter, and after a job loss in 2009, I felt that it was finally time to explore this “nudge” in my spirit to go to seminary, a nudge I had been feeling since 2005.  My daughter, Sophia, and I moved to Evanston in July of 2010, and I started my M.Div. that September.  It was one of the best decisions that I have ever made.

Attraction to Garrett-Evangelical
I had a friend who earned her M.Div. from Garrett-Evangelical M.S.J. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.  She was the first person I had ever met who had attended seminary just because she was interested in studying theology and/or using her M.Div. in a context other than traditional ordained pastoral ministry.  I knew at that time that I was being called into theological education, though not necessarily into a more “traditional” ministry situation. Seeing my friend, who now works as an editor/acquisitions specialist for a Christian publisher, thriving in her field after having had a great experience at Garrett-Evangelical, sold me on pursuing graduate studies here. In addition, the warmth of the admissions staff and student tour guides also helped to seal the deal.

Calling
I feel a very strong calling to both academia and to practical ministry. I see myself pursuing a terminal degree and also pursuing certification from the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education as a chaplain after I complete my M.Div.  My experiences at Garrett-Evangelical – both inside and outside of the classroom – are providing me with a priceless wealth of knowledge to be a bold leader for the Church and the world. Thanks be to God!

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UMC Logo Garrett-Evangelical, a seminary related to
The United Methodist Church, welcomes
students from a wide range of faith traditions.