These words were shared by Truett student Julianna Marraccino at the annual Friends of Truett Dinner on November 12, 2017.
Outside of being a student at Truett Seminary, I have the pleasure of serving as a Resident Chaplain in one of Baylor’s residence halls here on campus. I work and live in Ruth Collins Hall, which houses a little under 600 first-year women. Do not let the number scare you. These young women are a joy to do life with in the midst of the highs and lows of their freshman year of college.
The fact that Truett Seminary and Baylor Spiritual Life come alongside one another to support me, along with 16 other Truett students in our ministries as Resident Chaplains, is something I am extremely grateful for. Not only does Truett challenge its students academically, Truett encourages and walks with students through their ministerial journeys.
When Dean Still first asked me to come and share with you this evening about how Truett supports me in my ministry and my calling, the first word that came to mind was intentionality.
The Truett community is intentional. From the students to the faculty and staff, this community cares deeply and loves boldly. This carries into the way in which Truett cares for its students outside of their academic success.
One of my favorite things about Truett is that before each class period, professors take the time to pray over students. They take five to 10 minutes of their class to check in with students on a personal and spiritual level, not just to see how they are doing academically (or cramming to study or write a paper).
I sometimes take this for granted, but it truly makes an impact on my life to know that my professors care about who I am as an individual and not just as a grade in their class. As students, we may not express how much this means, but the faculty and staff at Truett walk alongside this community with grace, love, and empathy.
In my TNT 2 class this past Friday, we were reading a text about church reform, and part of the text included training and educating those who feel called to ministry. The writer focused his attention on professors and the way in which professors should train students academically but, more importantly, to walk alongside them in their spiritual lives.
Dr. Brewer asked our class, “Does Truett do this and in what ways can we improve?” As I thought on that question, I realized that Truett is a place that does just that – the faculty and staff model what it looks like to love others and to be intentional about community and discipleship both inside and outside the classroom.
Being part of this community has shown me what it looks like to do ministry in new and unique ways and how to love others well. To the faculty and staff in this room, thank you for all that you do for us students. And for those of you in this room who support Truett, thank you for making this reality possible.
As a woman who feels led and called to ministry (whatever that may look like down the road), I am beyond appreciative of the way that Truett fosters a community that accepts, challenges, and encourages all of its students to grow academically, spiritually, and personally in their years spent at seminary.
I am thankful to call Truett home during this season of life.