As promised, over the next two weeks we are going to be introducing you to all the new writers at goingtoseminary.com. First on deck is Kari Patterson. We shot Kari (and all the writers) a list of questions. Here are her answers:
Kari, how did you come to know the Lord?
For God’s mercy I will be forever grateful. I prayed to receive Christ at the age of five, after my mom explained the gospel in 5-year-old language for me. I’ll never stop praising God for the amazing godly heritage I have in my parents and grandparents, who prayed for me even before birth.
So, why did you decide to go to seminary?
In college God clearly revealed His call on my life for full-time ministry. I was also incredibly blessed to earn a full-ride graduate scholarship to be used anywhere in the U.S. Determined to use it, I planned to attend Columbia College in Chicago to get an MFA in fiction writing while Jeff earned an M.Div at Moody, but God re-routed us and showed me that it was Him, not creative writing, that He wanted me to study. After a significant detour and wilderness experience in the SF Bay area, God opened the door to return to our own backyard and attend Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland…together. His plan, as always, was perfect.
What has been the hardest part of seminary for you?
By far the hardest part has been the challenge of balancing a home, husband, son, work, and school. I know of only two other women in our entire seminary who have small children…with good reason. It’s like living in two worlds. I gave birth to Dutch seven days after finishing my last final of fall semester in ’06, then took a semester off before returning the following fall. We also lived 1 1/2 hours away from school, so the commute was a bear. But looking back, every second has been worth it.
For you, what has been the most rewarding part of seminary for you?
The personal growth in my walk with my Savior, and the personal growth in my marriage to Jeff. I have fallen in love with Jesus over and over again as I’ve learned more of His nature, His love, His power, and His grace. And I’ve fallen in love with Jeff as we’ve gazed at the Savior side by side.
How’d you start blogging and Why do you Blog?
Blogging saved my life! A year ago we left our home, jobs, town, church, and moved in with my parents so that we could finish seminary full-time and live on our savings and have help with our son while we were in class. It was the most stripping experience of my life, but Jeff was wise enough to buy me karipatterson.com so that I’d have a creative outlet. Without my blog I would not have survived this year.
Extra: What’s it like being a woman in seminary?
It’s like being surrounded by men! took a Development of Spiritual Character class my first year that was all guys except me. I called it Men’s Discipleship Class. They were always talking about sexual purity and I just kept my head down. But the great part was they always wanted my opinion—the “woman’s perspective” they called it. Overall I’ve felt exceedingly respected and honored throughout my experience.
Ok everyone, sound off and let welcome Kari to the crew!