Meet Jamila Carney
Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Direction
Jamila Carney is a first year Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Direction student at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Jamila was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, and she attended the University of Minnesota to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Child Psychology. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, she decided to continue her education, earning a Master of Arts in Education with a specialization in Adult Education and Distance Learning. On top of all her educational degrees and accomplishments, Jamila is also a 200-hour certified yoga instructor!
Since Jamila’s great grandfathers were both preachers, she claims herself as a product of the Levitical priesthood. Her maternal grandfather was a preacher in the Baptist Church and her paternal grandfather was a preacher in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. From her faith-filled upbringing, Jamila was taught, and agreed, that her life was not her own: her life belonged to God. Always an active member in her church, Jamila participated as a leader in the creative arts ministry. The gift that she holds most dear is the gift of dance. While dancing at a conference in July 2018, Jamila heard the voice of the Lord speak: "Garrett, Scholarship, Post Baccalaureate, Blount, and Seminary." After a time of discernment, including prayer, research, and study, Jamila followed the signs to Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She understood that God was leading her to seminary! Jamila understands her call to ministry to be much like Abraham’s call in Genesis 12:1: "Go...to the land I will show you." One step at a time, Jamila walked her journey as God revealed the next steps of her path.
Although Jamila has been at Garrett for only a few weeks, she has experienced confirmation and peace that she is exactly where she needs to be to follow God’s plans in her life. Jamila chose to study spiritual formation and direction to build an Agape Yogastry ministry. Agape Yogastry is a unique ministry that utilizes the movement-art of yoga to focus on human breathing and body to honor the giver of all breath and life: God.
During her short time at Garret, Jamila has experienced a deep thirst for the things of God. She has also been affirmed in the transformative nature of critical approaches to biblical interpretation. Reading texts and discussing their themes with her fellow scholars and professors, Jamila has experienced eased anxiety. The voices in her life that have reprimanded her for asking too many questions, or accused her of being confrontational, have been quieted, allowing her to rest in, and expand, her understandings of God and all things holy. Jamila has been truly freed to explore the mission and calling God has placed in her life.
Thus far, Jamila’s favorite class at Garrett has been ‘Spiritual Practice,’ taught by Rev. Dr. Dwight Judy. Her particular connection with the class stems from its direct alignment with her purpose in ministry. Jamila hopes to help people discover their own unique paths to God through their own lives, and the established course goals of ‘Spiritual Practice’ are geared toward her vocational aspirations.
Through courses like ‘Spiritual Practice,’ and her entire education at Garrett, Jamila knows that she can fully realize the plans that God has for her in ministry. Jamila is confident that God wants her to expand her Agape Yogastry ministry, but she also humbly offers her life and ministry to the urgings and guidance of her Creator. Through her time at seminary, and her future as a minister, Jamila is committed to following the will of God. She knows that her time in seminary will help her listen and discern more clearly the path God has planned for her.