Our Community Responds to the Central Integration Question

“At this point in your journey, how do you envision your call to God’s mission in the world?”

Alexis-Abernethy_sqAlexis Abernethy
Professor of Psychology

When I came to Fuller I was excited about my calling as an African American Christian female clinical psychologist with the freedom to work in spirituality and health from a theologically informed and cultural perspective. Recently, God is using diverse interests to broaden my understanding of Christian formation. My church choir has taught me to be a vessel for God’s use in a treasured fellowship; beach volleyball has taught me interdependence and reliance on others’ strengths; being a group therapist has deepened my understanding of group dynamics; and studies in spirituality and health have broadened my perspective of spiritual struggle. My calling is to engage others in a holistic process of Christian formation that includes our creativity, bodies, relationships, and cultural heritage.

Gerry PicketGerry Picket
[MDiv ’10] Technology Support

How do we deal with a call to minister to people when full-time employment is rare? At this point in my Christian journey I feel called to help ministers deal with this tension and try to figure out, learn, and educate about the future of bivocational ministry in the United States. How do we give tools to lead in the church and also in the workplace? To honor the calling and the commandment of evangelism that Christ has placed on our lives? For me, a vision of bivocational ministry is to use the gifts and talents that God has given me to reclaim the kingdom of God in both my local church and in the ministries that God has placed before me, and to be obedient to the talents God has given (and to multiply them) while not being constricted by traditional ideas about ministry.

Kirk WInslowKirk Winslow
Adjunct Professor and Pastor

I spent nearly two decades becoming a religious professional. As I look back, what stands out is how much I was conforming to the expectations of the institution that ordained me and the congregations that employed me. My ordination vows said: “. . . serve the people with energy, intelligence, imagination and love.” I provided the best church experience I could. But we wondered, a lot, why not-church people didn’t come. Then I got a call to plant a church for the not-church people. My whole sense of vocation was transformed from just caring for the people of God to preparing them for the work of embodying Jesus to the world. I love and am invested in my community more than ever, but I serve the Lord by preparing them for the larger project of redeeming all creation.

Brieann-Glass-Knutson2Brieann Glass Knutson
[MDiv student] Director of Worship

Tourists flock to the Four Corners monument where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona meet to capture awkward photos of themselves on all fours with each extremity in a different state. Because I am a worship director, teacher of spiritual disciplines, and community church planter, I sometimes envision my calling to God’s mission in the world with that picture in mind. My default is to compartmentalize, classify, and separate. Keep things tidy. Manageable. Yet I’m discovering that the work God requires of the church is not easily quantifiable, and is often incredibly messy. So even if I am left with two arms and two legs in four “states,” everything works together to pay attention to what God is doing and to follow—awkward stance and all.

Juan MartinezJuan Martínez
Vice Provost

Hace algunos años atrás se me animó a escribir una declaración de misión personal como una manera de pensar sobre el llamado de Dios en mi vida. Aunque lo he re-escrito varias veces a través de los años, me ha ayudado a mantenerme enfocado en las maneras que Dios ha guiado mi vida y ministerio. En este momento de mi caminar cristiano yo entiendo mi llamado a la misión divina como la de ser puente. Tengo el privilegio de ayudar a gente conectar con su llamado divino a través de la educación teológica y el apoyo pastoral. Como puente también me toca conectar a gente con oportunidades, conectar a personas de diferentes culturas, etnicidades e idiomas los unos con los otros y conectar a personas y organizaciones con visiones comunes para que puedan servir a Dios y a otros en maneras nuevas y creativas.

IngridIngrid Meléndez
[MACCS ’14]

As a daughter of immigrants, my journey to understand vocation was a difficult one. I lacked a mentor who could help me understand how my gifts and my career choice informed each other. It was difficult for my parents to access resources that would help me succeed. Now I want to give guidance to young women like I was by counseling girls on vocation and partnering them with mentors to encourage their personal, spiritual, and professional growth. There is a great need in immigrant communities for such mentors, but not many are equipped to do it. My calling is also to assist women of my generation to understand their own vocations, thereby helping both girls and women lay the foundation for lifetimes of good work.

Carolyn GoodenCarolyn Gordon
Associate Professor of Communication

In essence, at this point in my Christian journey, I envision my calling to God’s mission in the world to be a complexly simple one: To preach the gospel, teach the gospel, and to live out the gospel—every day, every way, and everywhere—while I encourage others to do the same.

JongJin ParkJongJin Park
[ThM student]

이슬람국가에서의 선교는 하나님의 사랑이 나를 통해 흘러갈 수 있는 존재가 되는 것이지 말로 선포하는 것이 아니었다. 또한이천년의신앙의역사를가진콥틱교회는가르쳐야할대상이아니라이슬람의핍박에도믿음을지켜오고있는그들의삶과영성을배우는것이선교라는것도알게되었다

선교는 주님을 위해 많은 일을 하여 무언가를 남기는 것이 아니라 모든 사람이 구원에 이르시기를 원하시는 하나님의 신실하신 성품안에 온전히 동참할때 하나님께서 일하시는 것이라는 것을 이슬람과 콥틱교회를 만남으로 깨닫게 되었다.

Fuller Seminary faculty member William E. Pannell smiles in a close up portraitWilliam E. Pannell
Professor Emeritus of Preaching

“That verse of Scripture jumped out, grabbed me by the throat, wrapped itself around my heart, and I’m telling you, I’ve never gotten over it. Here was this young, green as grass, African American kid, in a kind of genteel segregated town. And there was the God of eternity marking this kid off for himself, putting a call on him: ‘You’re mine.’ You don’t get over that!”

NT-WrightN. T. Wright
New Testament Scholar, Author

“Vocation is often like that: we pray and we wait and we puzzle and we read the Scriptures and we talk to friends and we scratch our heads and say ‘am I crazy? Or is this what I’m called to do?’”

Miroslav-VolfMiroslav Volf
[MA ’79] Theologian, Author

“I do think that our callings are part of a large mission of God in the world. . . .  What is the claim of God’s call on our lives and how am I going to lead my life in faithfulness to God’s call? I think my calling right now is to think about that kind of calling!”