A Change Will Do You Good
When I first set out for seminary at the age of 19, my thousand-mile journey took me to sleepy Nodaway County, Missouri, where a Benedictine monastery welcomed about 80 men a year to prepare for priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church. Given the requirements for priesthood in the Roman Catholic world, we were a pretty uniform lot—most of us were even “college age,” though there were a few “late vocations,” that is, guys in their 30s.
Fast forward 19 years and here I am again, having traded rural Missouri for uber-urban Boston, and specifically the ivory towers of Cambridge here at the Episcopal Divinity School. There is a monastery close by—the Society of St. John the Evangelist—but that’s where the similarity ends. All I have to do is look at my classmates to see the difference: a woman who moved with her partner and children from Texas; another with one child just out of diapers and another only six months old. A woman from northern Virginia who is tired of being, in her words, a “unicorn”—“the” Black Episcopalian in her church. There are commuters from the suburbs, a distance learner from Vermont; some are married or partnered, others single. One man comes to EDS from Burma—he’s Baptist, by the way—another is an Anglican from Nigeria. And that’s in a class of 18.