Field Ed Profiles: Katie Holicky ’16

Katie Holicky

Katie Holicky ’16 talks about her experiences with the New England Church of South India.

What did you do for your Field Education unit?

This year I am doing my Field Education unit at the New England Church of South India. This is a small community that travels from all over New England to meet once a month in rented space. One of my biggest draws to working in this community was being able to work in a space that would expand my own knowledge and cultural literacy.

What were your learning goals going into your Field Ed unit?

My Field Ed unit consists of two aspects. First, much of my time is spent programming for the community’s children. I write and teach custom curriculum that caters to the needs of the community. All of my programming work stems from questionnaires, and group dialogue in the community. This is key in my pedagogy, as everything we cover as a group comes from the group members. This method has been very fruitful, as opposed to me coming into the community with my own predispositions as to what should be learned.

Second, over the course of the year I am creating a research guide for those working in multicultural settings, or cultural settings different from one’s self. My goal is to create a guide that compiles a variety of materials for leaders to access. This guide will include mock up lessons, web and book resources, physical community building activities, examples of group and individual meditation and more.

What skills did you bring to Field Ed?

For the past ten years I have worked with children in a variety of different programs and settings. I have written and run community programs for children, interned in the Catholic Campus Ministries house as a religious studies major during my undergraduate studies, and before coming to EDS was a director of Christian education specializing in writing programming for Bible studies, Sunday school, and large events like Vacation Bible School. My many years of working with children, and as a curriculum/program writer has been extremely key in my success in this Field Ed placement.

What knowledge and skills did you gain from your experience?

I have learned that inviting youth and children into mutual leadership of our group has been extremely powerful. Adults far too often do not give children enough credit for what their minds, bodies, and souls are truly capable of. This program has been a space where no one in the group has to experience that. Working in an Indian community, has also allowed me the space to further develop my own cultural literacy.

How did Field Ed develop your call to ministry?

I have enjoyed the space to work as an educator through spiritual formation which very much honors my call. Working with youth and children through creative means to do this work is also very much a part of my call. This unit of Field Ed really let me live into the fullness of my own gifts, giving me a glimpse at the power of my own ministry.

The best part of your Field Ed experience?

I enjoyed being with the people. This small, culturally-rich community is filled with some of the warmest, loving, affirming people I have ever had the privilege of encountering. Given that I spend the most time with the youth and children, I would say the best part of this experience for me has been not just the relationships we have built through our mutual leadership in the group, but also the ways I have allowed myself to grow in this group with the youth and children. This is a community where I feel truly welcomed, affirmed, and challenged too. For me, this has been the perfect balance.