Meet Pranalika Parmar
Degree Program – Master of Arts in Christian Education
Hometown – Anand, Gujarat, India
I come from India, a land of diversity. I am a medical school graduate and pursued my medical education from a state medical university in Russia. When I am not traveling, hiking, cooking, or reading, I am a physician to sponsor my hobbies. My parents and my brother are my life’s greatest blessings received from God. I consider my vocation to serve my community and church the second most crucial part of my life.
Why did you decide to attend seminary and Garrett-Evangelical in particular?
I decided to attend Garrett-Evangelical primarily because it’s well known for its theological education, and the general reputation of the seminary is excellent. I wanted to seek a well-rounded theological education in western religion, especially Christianity. In this respect, I am confident that the faculty, provisions, and the acclaimed resources of Garrett-Evangelical are exceptional! All these will provide me with the theological knowledge, experience, and awareness that will prepare me to think critically and creatively from a wide range of perspectives for our developing world. What has driven my application toward the Christian education program the most is that the program is tailored to provide training in Christian education as well as in youth ministry.
What are you enjoying most about your seminary experience so far?
What I am enjoying most about Garrett-Evangelical is access to the unlimited biblical resources from the Styberg Library. The teaching faculty on campus is extremely helpful, and the professors have devoted their time and effort to me. I owe a special thanks to Rev. Dr. Mai-Anh Le Tran. Rev. Dr. Tran has interacted with me not just to explain the theological learning material, but also helped me improve my academic writing. My advisor, Rev. Dr. Virginia Lee has offered me valuable future career advice and inspired me to consider deacon studies after hearing my vocational interests. Hearing from Rev. Dr. Lee that my vocational goal resonates more with working as deacon gave me new ways to look at my calling to work in church ministry. Now, I am on a path to pursue my Master of Arts in Christian Education with a concentration in deacon studies.
How has your faith been strengthened since attending Garrett-Evangelical?
I knew that seminary education is hard – emotionally as well as mentally. However, I learned that it is a part of a process to deconstruct our thinking to reconstruct it spiritually. I am in the process of thinking theologically and connecting my learning with my spiritual life, beliefs, and faith. It is fascinating for me to know that the historical background of text and scripture could construct or deconstruct its meaning. I realize that being a Christian does not entitle me to have the right interpretation of scripture, a biblical text, and most importantly, God. The first semester of studying at Garrett-Evangelical has strengthened my relationship with God.
Where do you see Christ leading you after seminary?
I envision myself working for the community to connect people with the church and strengthen their faith.