Connolly Huddleston, Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies
Connolly was looking to stretch her horizons and start over in a new place. Originally from Tennessee, she was interested in Seattle’s diverse culture and the School of Theology and Ministry for its vastness of ecumenism. Looking to enhance her undergraduate education in theology, she chose to pursue the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS) degree.
Through the MAPS program, Connolly has learned a lot about how people work, what motivates them, and how to be more receptive to those in need. The program has provided insights on compassion for others, as well as a better understanding of humanity and where she can fit in with the world. “The class reading materials have really allowed me to dig deeper into who I am, and that has led to me having a deeper and more profound outlook on the imperfectly perfect being God made us all to be.” Connolly explains, “I’ll always remember the compassionate way of being my professor modeled in class, and her advice of presence is the best gift.”
Connolly has had the opportunity to put her education into practice through her contextual education internship at Providence Mount St. Vincent, an assisted living facility. As a spiritual care intern, Connolly provides pastoral care support to residents through different forums. She says, “I can provide a listening ear to their needs, with the hopes to do what I can, even if that is just to hold them in prayer.”
Connolly’s internship supervisor helped make the internship experience formative and impactful. Her supervisor was open and willing to let Connolly make mistakes and to learn at her own pace. She pushed Connolly out of her comfort zone in order for her to learn and get the most out of her internship experience. “The Spiritual Care Team at Mount St. Vincent was a very cohesive and vastly different group of people. It seemed that they all fit together like a puzzle.” Connolly explains, “I not only had a great experience with each of them, but also with my work and the wonderful guidance that came with it.”
Connolly describes the School of Theology and Ministry as “an amazing, beautiful, and inviting place that lets you be you.” She shares, “I have found the community at the School of Theology and Ministry to be one that is open and life-giving. It is an inspiring, impressive place with inspiring and impressive people. Growth is so possible here.”