Meet Gina Robinson
Born and raised on my great grandfather's farm in rural Georgia, I have always been supported and encouraged by my family to pursue my dreams, see the world, and become whomever God is calling me to be. Education is the vehicle my family has used for generations to create and seize more opportunity in this world. In 2005, I left my small town after graduating high school to attend Oxford College of Emory University in Oxford, Georgia for two years. While living and learning in the "O.C.", I gave leadership to the Black Student Alliance, sang in the gospel choir, and served as an orientation coordinator. In 2007, I continued my education at the Atlanta campus of Emory University, where I completed a bachelor of arts in both African American studies and political science. After graduating in 2009, I began working at a law firm in Atlanta while applying to law school. During this time, I also began serving in a youth ministry at a church. Within a year, I realized God was calling me away from the legal arena toward ministry with youth. God called me to Candler School of Theology to pursue a master of divinity in 2013. These were three of the most transformative years of my life. Through working with and learning about youth in various capacities, it became clear that my life's work revolved around their identity and faith development. By the end of my three years, I still had lingering, deeper questions about youth, youth ministry, culture, and the church. Knowing a PhD would be my ultimate goal, I felt I should spend one additional year in preparation for the rigor of research and writing within my field. Therefore, I attended Yale Divinity School in 2016. The guidance of Dr. Almeda Wright and Dr. Eboni Marshall Turman will forever shape my scholarship and identity as a black woman in the academy. After graduating from Yale, I began my PhD studies at Garrett-Evangelical in the Fall of 2017. When I am not reading, writing, or researching, I enjoy playing and watching sports, cooking, traveling, hanging out with family and friends, and learning acoustic guitar.
Why did you decide to attend seminary and Garrett-Evangelical in particular?
I decided to continue my studies at a theological institution because of my commitments to the ecclesial body of the Black church. While my research interests intersect with other disciplines, understanding God's activity in the lived experiences of black youth remains at the core. I decided to attend Garrett-Evangelical because of the appointed faculty currently shaping the theological minds of students at this institution. Drs. Reginald Blount, Stephan G. Ray, and Trina Armstrong are the reasons I chose Garrett-Evangelical. After conversing with each of them, I was confident these scholars would both encourage and challenge me as I journey toward my PhD.
What are you enjoying most about your seminary experience so far?
Thus far, I am enjoying building community with burgeoning theologians, academicians, pastors, activists, and community leaders from around the globe. The exchange of cultural experiences and theological perspectives fills my days on campus with joy.
How has your faith been strengthened since attending Garrett-Evangelical?
Since attending Garrett-Evangelical, God has continued to provide all of my needs through various resources both within and outside of this academic institution. This August, I did not know how my basic needs such as books, utilities, food, and transportation would be fulfilled this semester. By September, I was blessed to have two campus jobs and committed financial support from outside resources to ensure I did not experience lack. God continues to show how faithful God is toward those who believe. I am a witness.
Where do you see Christ leading you after seminary?
After completing my PhD program, I hope to teach at a research university that has a seminary. It is also my dream to facilitate youth ministry workshops in churches around the country.