Student Q&A: Anna Beth Mann

January 17, 2019
Anna Beth Mann
When did you first feel called to ministry and how did that impact your undergraduate experience?

I started feeling called to ministry my sophomore year of high school. Both of my parents are in full-time ministry, so I’ve been in that environment my entire life. I didn’t think that was going to be me, but I finally accepted the call to ministry my senior year of high school. It took a couple of years to get to that point because I had many ideas about what I thought I wanted to do.

So, I knew coming into Baylor that I wanted to go into ministry, but I had talked to my parents and other mentors in my life who encouraged me to major in something other than religion, a degree that would bring me skills in a different area since I knew I wanted to go to seminary. I decided on a business degree because I thought it would be practical, but I wasn’t sold on it in the beginning. But now in seminary and working at a church, I’ve seen it provide skills that have been beneficial for a ministry setting.

Why did you decide to attend Truett Seminary, especially after attending Baylor as an undergraduate?

I love Waco, even though it’s far from home. I had started looking at seminaries kind of early on because I knew that would be my next step after I graduated. I attended Preview at Truett as a sophomore and started coming for visits and lectures pretty early in my undergraduate career, so I just felt more and more at home every time I came over here. Waco and Baylor felt like home too, but Truett specifically felt like its own little world, not too much like my undergraduate experience.

Another big thing for me was wanting to feel not just accepted as a woman in ministry, but encouraged. And Truett definitely encourages women to be in ministry. I’ve always felt welcomed at Truett.

Do you have any thoughts or ideas about what specific area of ministry you’re interested in?

I’m thinking either youth ministry or some type of non-profit ministry. I’m also pretty open to that role being abroad. I’m working on figuring it out. I actually just stepped into a part-time Youth Associate role at First Baptist, Hewitt, and I’ve worked at a non-profit summer camp in Alabama. So those are my areas of interest, but I’m open to wherever God leads me these next three years.

What has been one of your most impactful experiences at Truett so far?

I recently took a J-Term class on youth ministry with Dr. Grear Howard and Jake Mulder from the Fuller Youth Institute. I was kind of skeptical about it being all day for five full days, but it actually ended up being one of my favorite classes I’ve ever taken. It was perfect timing learning a new perspective on youth ministry and then stepping into a youth ministry role a few days later. I thought it was really neat that they brought in Jake Mulder from Fuller to get an outside perspective from someone who’s so knowledgeable about youth ministry today.

Also, other than that specific class, something that has really stood out to me these first several months is the community at Truett. When I went home over the holidays, everyone was asking me “How’s seminary?” and “How’s your first semester?” What kept coming to mind was the people—and not just the students, but the professors too. I worked in the Dean’s Suite last semester and that allowed me to have interactions with professors I haven’t had for class. It really stood out to me that they were willing to get to know me—even as a student who they hadn’t had in class yet—and wanting to build relationships prior to me having their classes later on in the program.

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