Meet Amanda Lynn Holmes
Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Public Ministry
I was born and raised in Virginia and attended college at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, where I majored in sociology with a concentration in structure and inequality. I am actively involved in The United Methodist Church and in my home church of Mount Olivet UMC in Arlington, Virginia. While I was raised in Newport News, I now consider the DC metro area to be home as I lived there for the past 12 years prior to moving to Evanston. While I don’t have a lot of free time as a student, I do enjoy the occasional Netflix binge, but I balance that with my passions for dance and CycleBar. Now getting to experience an actual winter, I hope to get involved in outdoor winter sports, especially ice skating. I also enjoy deep conversations over a delicious cup of coffee or tea.
Why did you decide to attend seminary and Garrett-Evangelical in particular?
After many years of denying my call and, in fact, applying to many other programs, I finally decided to apply to seminary because it was the door that still remained open and inviting. The more I learned about the programs, particularly at Garrett- Evangelical, the more excited I became about the possibility of attending seminary and earning my degree. From the time I first met Rev. Katie Fahey at the 2018 Why Christian Conference to accepting my offer of admission, I always felt so cared for by the admissions staff and the community at Garrett-Evangelical. Throughout every moment of the admissions process, I felt wanted and desired, such that I knew I could be my best self at Garrett-Evangelical and also have the opportunity for an individualized program of study both through a concentration and independent study. I am so grateful to be a part of the Garrett-Evangelical community and have not ever doubted my decision to attend seminary here. I look forward to diving deeper into the community as I start my second semester.
What are you enjoying most about your seminary experience so far?
I am so excited to be back in academia and have the privilege of attending challenging classes, both academically and personally. Through these classes, I have established a great community of fellow students who I may not have had the opportunity to interact with otherwise. Like my professors, my fellow students have challenged me to reevaluate my previously held assumptions and to open myself to new ways of thinking.
How has your faith been strengthened since attending Garrett-Evangelical?
My faith has been strengthened through having to rely on and trust in God, even more than I did on my journey toward an offer of admission. Without God and the community God has provided for me, I would not have the privilege of being able to pursue graduate-level education full time. I have found that if I can take my worry out of it and fully rely on God, then the Lord will provide. Although I have yet to find a faith community outside of Garrett-Evangelical, I have been nourished through our weekly chapel service and the opportunity to participate in a cross-cultural immersion at Humboldt Park UMC, where I truly learned what Christian hospitality can be.
Where do you see Christ leading you after seminary?
When someone asks me what my goals are for post-seminary, I generally reply that I feel called to be a “field organizer for Jesus Christ.” In using this political language, I am hoping to work as a community organizer at the intersection of faith and politics or faith and sexuality within a non- profit. However, I am open to going wherever I am called — sometimes the best adventures happen when you don’t plan for them.