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Meet P.J. Prewit

P.J. Prewit
Garrett has given me professors, colleagues and tools which continue to expand my own understanding of trauma and how I can take part in the healing work of the Church. Garrett has given me a space to mess up and try again.

Master of Arts in Pastoral Care and Counseling - Clinical Track

Patrick “P.J.” Prewit is a second year student in the Master of Arts in Pastoral Care and Counseling (MAPCC), Clinical Track, program at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Originally from a small town in West Central Texas called Avoca, P.J. will always call Texas his home. However, P.J. does hold a great affection for the Pacific Northwest due to his time living in Oregon as a campus minister. 

P.J. attended Tarleton State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Sociology with a Pre-Ministry emphasis in 2014. P.J. focused his studies on religion, family, and gender. During his time at Tarleton, P.J. was mentored by a Methodist professor. This professor saw the need for a financially accessible degree from a state school that prepared students for a graduate theological education. This mentorship had a great impact on P.J.’s ministry journey.  

After graduating from Tarleton and spending time working as a campus minister in Oregon, P.J. followed “the unshakable desire to say ‘yes’ to the unknown” toward further learning at seminary. This desire for the unknown was punctuated by several jarring events in P.J.’s life: transitioning out of his home denomination, coming out, and heartache. In the weight and life of these many events and realities, P.J. began to conceptualize his call to ministry. P.J. felt called to walk with those who face religious trauma and desire to rediscover a new normal. 

Following his “unshakable desire to say ‘yes’ to the unknown” to Garett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, P.J. found his call significantly challenged and given more texture. During his time at Garrett, the seminary, much like the Church, has been, and continues to be, challenged to face its institutional whiteness. And as the seminary has gone on this journey of facing its whiteness, so too has P.J. Professors and colleagues at Garrett have helped him discovers tools by which he can continue to expand his own understanding of trauma and how he can take an active role in the vital healing-work of the Church and world. Garrett has provided P.J. with the space to “mess up and try again.” 

Two particular experiences stuck out to P.J. during his time at Garrett. Rev. Dr. Trina Armstrong’s course, ‘Introduction to Pastoral Care and Counseling,’ laid a strong foundation for the rest of P.J.’s MAPCC degree. He appreciated that Dr. Armstrong’s pedagogy and course requirements provided students with relevant learnings that did not shy away from challenging assumptions of self, service, and community. The most transformative experience P.J. had at Garrett was through his Clinical Pastoral Education course during the summer of 2020. CPE enabled him to practice what he had learned from the classroom in the immensely challenging field of chaplaincy. CPE was a transformative experience that will greatly impact P.J.’s future work in the classroom and beyond. 

During his time at Garrett, one tool that has been incredibly useful to P.J. is the Styberg Library. Styberg Library’s expansive collection has been a great resource of both personal and professional development for P.J. Between the inter-library loan and requesting books for purchase, the library has been a fantastic resource in helping P.J. craft his research. 

P.J. looks toward his future of completing the Clinical Track of the Master of Arts in Pastoral Care and Counseling. In doing so, he hopes to be equipped to work in the area of religious trauma. Through the field of religious trauma, P.J. can live into his call by helping those struggling with faith crisis and trauma to develop a new and life-giving lens.