Missy Trull, Master of Divinity
While researching seminaries and graduate programs, Missy Trull came across Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry (STM). She was drawn in by the school’s sense of hope, unity, empowerment, and commitment to justice; she felt like it was exactly what she needed and wanted. As Missy discerned how she could participate in God’s healing work in the world, she imagined herself as a chaplain and thus chose to pursue the Master of Divinity (MDiv) program.
Now that Missy is well into her journey in the MDiv program, she is grateful for the way that the School of Theology and Ministry provides integrated training as she pursues a career as a chaplain. The MDiv with Chaplaincy specialization degree houses multiple counseling courses, allowing Missy to receive the theological and ministerial training she needs to understand the relational dynamics she has and will encounter in chaplaincy work. As part of her contextual education, Missy worked as an intern at Recovery Café, a center that utilizes the power of a safe and loving community to empower people recovering from addiction. This experience helped Missy to apply the listening and “being with” practices learned in courses, such as Pastoral Care Skills, with individuals and families processing grief, loss, trauma, healing, and hope.
Missy’s dream is to become a hospital chaplain at a children’s hospital, and she feels like she is being well-prepared for this work. She appreciates the balance of academic and experiential preparation she receives in the MDiv program. The academic work grounds and positions her to become increasingly aware of her theology as she works with patients. Moreover, all of the concepts she has learned in class have become a part of who she is and how she moves in the world.
For Missy, the program offers not only academic rigor, but what she calls “heart-rigor.” After two years in the program, she reflects: “I know myself—my story, what I bring into a room, my prejudices, my weaknesses, my fears, my love—I know myself in a profound way now, and I think we can only really function authentically in the world when we really know and listen to ourselves.”
There have been many meaningful moments in Missy’s journey that are transforming her into the chaplain and person she strives to be. Support and encouragement from colleagues help her continue to grow and thrive in this work. She has learned how to honor her own life in her theological work without abandoning ideas that may oppress or offend. Missy says: “My professor taught me the empowerment of “staying the in the room” with the discomfort in order to create, build, and see something new.” She adds, “The MDiv is a program of transformation-a program of moment after moment of meaningful lesson, challenge, and change.”