Meet Kaylissa Beale
Master of Arts in Christian Education
Second year Master of Arts in Christian Education student Kaylissa Beale calls eastern Washington state home. Kaylissa grew up in Asotin, WA, only forty-five minutes away from her family’s farm in Pomeroy, WA. The family farm has been a place of life, work, and love in the Beale family for many generations, helping Kaylissa feel uniquely connected to the land. Growing up only two hours from Oregon, a mere fifteen minutes from Idaho, and on the beautiful Snake River, Kaylissa was formed amidst the mixture of beautiful natural space, recreation, and commerce.
While growing up in eastern Washington, Kaylissa had a fascination in understanding how the world works. Her passion and fascination with the natural world fueled a desire to explore the world and study it as a scientist. This goal led her to Lewis-Clark State College where she earned a Bachelor of Science in General Studies: Natural Science and Mathematics and minors in Biology and Environmental Studies. However, three years into her studies, her discernment journey helped her realize that work as a full-time scientist was not her vocational goal. God seemed to have other plans for Kaylissa.
Kaylissa’s faith journey as a Christian has been especially active and engaged over the last eleven years. During those years, Kaylissa’s home congregation walked alongside her discernment journey and helped foster her faith in active ministry settings. She participated in many ministry outlets within her home congregation: playing the piano during services, being a teacher in Vacation Bible School, leading the Church’s Worship Committee, preaching, and many more opportunities. She was even able to incorporate her expertise and passion for science in her home church, teaching a science section during Vacation Bible School. These opportunities, fostered and guided by her home congregation, demonstrated to Kaylissa the beautiful ways that a Church community can model love and power to its congregants and community. Through this discernment journey, Kaylissa realized her call to lead in ministry, and followed that path to Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.
Kaylissa quickly discovered that the discernment journey never ends! When she started at Garrett, Kaylissa was certain that she was called to be an elder in The United Methodist Church and serve as a congregational pastor. However, through her experiences at Garrett, Kaylissa began to see and understand other means of living into ministerial leadership. She began to explore a deeper understanding of her calling.
In Fall 2019, Kaylissa had the opportunity to attend the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s Deacon Gathering at Lake Junaluska in North Carolina. This initial immersion within the Order of Deacons in The United Methodist Church was life changing for Kaylissa. As she met with different people and discussed their unique ministries, Kaylissa could tangibly feel the passion and joy that was being shared. The more she learned about the Order of Deacons during the conference, the more Kaylissa realized that she was being called to the Deacon Order.
While at Garrett, Kaylissa has enjoyed the richness of community and learning that exists between students and professors. Because of this community of learning, Kaylissa has found valuable ministry insights and learnings in each class that she has taken. However, two courses that really resonated with her and impacted her ministry journey were ‘Theological Education in the Parish’ with Rev. Dr. Amy Valdez-Barker and ‘Youth Ministry’ with Rev. Dr. Reginald Blount. These courses, mixed with an incredible job opportunity as a Special Education Instructional Assistant at a local middle school, have illumined Kaylissa’s ministerial call through soul-filling work.
Kaylissa hopes to graduate in Spring 2020 and work toward ordination as a deacon in The United Methodist Church. She continues to explore the deep joy she finds working in the ministry of education and discerning what God has for her next. In the meantime, Kaylissa keeps herself open to the work and movement of the Holy Spirit.