Kevin Ewing ’07 M.Div.
B.S. Tarkio College
After many years and many careers, I decided that it was finally time for me to answer the call to ministry placed on my life at a very young age. It was early in the discernment process that I discovered the United Church of Christ. However, to be ordained in the UCC one must have an M.Div. This terrified me. It had been many years since I had attended undergraduate school and, frankly, I wasn't a very good student. I knew I was smart enough but didn't really care for the academic discipline. To “test” myself, I audited a history and polity of the UCC course at YDS. That course convinced me, first, that I made the proper choice to serve in the UCC and, second, that I could actually do graduate-level work. It was mid-year, so I had to wait to apply. Rather than wait, I started my degree by taking courses at Hartford Seminary, where I studied for three semesters before matriculating into YDS.
I never really thought about the prestige and honor in being admitted to Yale Divinity School before I applied. Had I done so, I may have convinced myself that I was not up to the task. My reasons for applying were simple: I was living in Connecticut, I loved Connecticut, I needed an M.Div., and YDS was the only place I found in Connecticut that offered it. What I discovered when I arrived has changed my life tremendously. I found the true meaning of community. I found how to actually live the life that I was studying in my classes.
I spent as much time in classes and the library as I did in the streets of New Haven. I was blessed to work as a community organizer with low-income residents in the city. My work was to help them realize their power and to collectively use that power to better their individual and corporate situations. I learned to live the Gospel of Jesus the Christ. My studies at YDS have given me the language to “speak truth to power,” to hear the voice of God, to interpret the words and teach them to those in need. I have discovered my prophetic voice, and for that I will ever be indebted to my time at YDS.
For the immediate future, I will continue to serve as ministry associate at Amistad UCC in Hartford and continue my community work in New Haven.
Yes, YDS is very prestigious. But, more importantly for me, YDS is home.