Benediction: Moments of Discernment

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As an admissions counselor, Amy Wen can be in touch with up to 60 prospective students at a time—whether in person or online. Assigned to those interested in master’s-level programs in the School of Theology and School of Intercultural Studies, Amy connects with people from many different walks of life: undergraduate students preparing for graduate study, parents in search of online education, women and men in prison who are interested in theology, people moving toward ministry as a second or third career, and even those who have been pastors or missionaries for decades.

Many of her conversations can be about financial aid logistics or application requirements. Others become spaces of genuine dialogue about the discernment process—where prospective students open up about how they’ve been navigating God’s call. Amy listens. She makes space for laughs and for tears. She prays with them. “People considering studying here may be making substantial sacrifices to come, and some have been on this journey for years and years,” she says. Holding an MDiv herself, Amy recognizes each conversation as a pastoral opportunity. Pursuing a theological education and going to seminary, she notes, isn’t only an academic choice. Instead, it’s about discerning what faithfulness to God looks like for one’s whole and particular life. When Amy sits down with a prospective student in person, through a video chat, or on a phone call, she frames the conversation with that in mind. Even though she only meets people for a few steps of their journey, Amy hopes that God might use those small touch points to make an impact.

“I start every conversation with a particular prayer,” she says.

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all I have and call my own. You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace. That is enough for me.

Based on Psalm 119, this Suscipe Prayer by Ignatius of Loyola is often prayed by Roman Catholic clergy entering into religious orders. Amy has held on to it as a powerful way of helping people assume a posture of surrender before God—a reminder of how we ought to rely on God’s love and grace. “We come to seminary to catch sight of a vision of who God is,” she says, “but we can get so bogged down sometimes.” For Amy, it’s important that those interested in Fuller remember what attending seminary is truly about. Whether her prospective students end up at Fuller or not, she prays that God uses her in those moments of discernment to be a helpful presence on the journey.

Jerome Blanco

Jerome Blanco (MDiv ’16) is a writer and social media strategist for FULLER studio

As an admissions counselor, Amy Wen can be in touch with up to 60 prospective students at a time—whether in person or online. Assigned to those interested in master’s-level programs in the School of Theology and School of Intercultural Studies, Amy connects with people from many different walks of life: undergraduate students preparing for graduate study, parents in search of online education, women and men in prison who are interested in theology, people moving toward ministry as a second or third career, and even those who have been pastors or missionaries for decades.

Many of her conversations can be about financial aid logistics or application requirements. Others become spaces of genuine dialogue about the discernment process—where prospective students open up about how they’ve been navigating God’s call. Amy listens. She makes space for laughs and for tears. She prays with them. “People considering studying here may be making substantial sacrifices to come, and some have been on this journey for years and years,” she says. Holding an MDiv herself, Amy recognizes each conversation as a pastoral opportunity. Pursuing a theological education and going to seminary, she notes, isn’t only an academic choice. Instead, it’s about discerning what faithfulness to God looks like for one’s whole and particular life. When Amy sits down with a prospective student in person, through a video chat, or on a phone call, she frames the conversation with that in mind. Even though she only meets people for a few steps of their journey, Amy hopes that God might use those small touch points to make an impact.

“I start every conversation with a particular prayer,” she says.

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all I have and call my own. You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace. That is enough for me.

Based on Psalm 119, this Suscipe Prayer by Ignatius of Loyola is often prayed by Roman Catholic clergy entering into religious orders. Amy has held on to it as a powerful way of helping people assume a posture of surrender before God—a reminder of how we ought to rely on God’s love and grace. “We come to seminary to catch sight of a vision of who God is,” she says, “but we can get so bogged down sometimes.” For Amy, it’s important that those interested in Fuller remember what attending seminary is truly about. Whether her prospective students end up at Fuller or not, she prays that God uses her in those moments of discernment to be a helpful presence on the journey.

Written By

Jerome Blanco (MDiv ’16) is a writer and social media strategist for FULLER studio

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