Student Stories

Safe to Bring All That I Am: Meet MAPCC Student Rachel Shepherd

Rachel Shepherd

Hometown: Van Buren, Arkansas

Why did you decide to attend seminary and Garrett-Evangelical in particular?

Garrett-Evangelical was the one seminary that offered exactly what I was looking for in terms of an education in pastoral care and counseling that would lead me toward licensed mental health counseling. Most importantly, when I visited, the community proved to be a place where I was safe to bring all of who I am into the space as I learn and grow.

What challenges and opportunities have you found with the fall semester being online?

What I find I am missing most is the personal relationships/connections built with faculty and staff through class interaction and office hours. I miss the social and academic benefits of living amongst and attending class with peers. The opportunities that this online semester has presented include spending some more time closer to family during this difficult time of pandemic and major life transitions and learning a new method of learning and instruction.

Where do you see Christ leading you after seminary?

Right now, I feel called toward the intersection of the church and mental health. I also love young children and am passionate about raising a generation that is emotionally intelligent and values every part of the human experience. I see Christ leading me to a place where I can be a resource and advocate within the church and the community for accessible and holistic mental health care, especially for young people.