Student Story: Relationships and Community in Kairos

March 11, 2024

Relationship and Community in Surprising Ways

Brittany calls Edmonton, AB, Canada, home. She is a Master of Divinity graduate and current certificate student. She recently talked with us about the meaningful and formative relationships that she’s made as part of the Kairos community. Here’s her story:

I started my seminary journey shortly after returning to my full-time church coordinator position following maternity leave with my third child. Life was full, to say the least. I knew I would have to do a lot of juggling to make it all work, but I was confident that God was calling me to further theological education, and the Kairos program provided the flexibility I would need to make it happen.

Having attended online courses in other academic institutions, I was worried that I would have limited interactions with my instructors and would have preferred to be on campus for the entirety of my degree. But life, family, and ministry prevented me from participating in traditional (in-person lecture) courses.

I was delighted then to find that the interactions I had with my instructors (whether it was with those willing to meet me in a coffee shop or those who could only meet over Zoom) were more meaningful and formative than the ones I had with in-person instruction at my previous university. Both my vocational and personal mentor were local to me and this helped give me the community and in-person interaction that I needed.

My academic mentor, Dr. Heather Henson was all the way on the other side of the Canadian border, however, this did not prevent us from forming a relationship. And, as with my other instructors, Dr. Henson had no less impact on my spiritual and theological formation than if we shared a city. Dr. Henson, along with my other mentors, made me feel seen and valued both as a student and as a sister in Christ. Because of the relationships we had and the space for growth that I was given, I believe my team helped me to become a stronger and more faithful servant of Christ.

Late in 2020, I left the ministry role I was in when I started my Master of Divinity. As anyone who has worked for a church can attest, it was a difficult and emotional process. Then, in 2021 I accepted a pastoral position at the church in which I am currently serving. Undoubtedly, my education prepared me to enter the pastorate. I am so thankful for the skills I was able to develop that have helped me minister effectively to those in my care. But I am most thankful for all of the support, encouragement, and guidance I was given during this transition. My Kairos team assisted me in the discernment process and helped me better understand my own calling, without which I would not have had the courage to step into the things that I have.

Though I graduated with my Master of Divinity last spring, I am happy to report that many of my instructors still check on me and send resources and notes of encouragement. This reinforces for me that my time as a Kairos student was about so much more than increasing my knowledge. As I continue in a certificate program, I am honoured to remain part of a network of lifelong learners.

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