“The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” ” (Luke 10:17)
The first-year interns were back on campus last week for an intensive course, Theology of Mission, led by Professor Kevin Dudley. At a community lunch on Thursday, each of them had the opportunity to share a bit about their experience so far. Now, to be fair, none of them used the words of the seventy, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” But the enthusiasm and the confidence we heard from each of them is similar to the enthusiasm and confidence expressed by the seventy in Luke’s Gospel.
These students left Columbus at varying points in the summer, to internship locations as dispersed as Massachusetts and Texas, Washington D.C. and South Carolina, and even right here in Columbus. It is wondrous to see the growth these students are already showing in just a few months – their confidence in their own leadership, their awareness of regional and cultural differences among Lutherans, and their sense of collegiality. They are already talking about how much they look forward to having two years in their internship placements – the opportunity to build deeper relationships, develop and refine new skills, and continue to grow in confidence and in their own leadership.
It’s good to have them back in worship with us. Worship is such an essential component of the life of a seminary community! It’s also good to see the interns interacting with other students – especially the new first-year students, who are at the beginning of a journey yet are able to glimpse a bit of their future through the experiences their peers are sharing.
Someone asked me recently what give me hope. Obviously, the fundamental answer is Jesus! As a seminary dean, my other answer is “Our students.” They entrust their lives and education to us, and we see the growth that God works in them during their time in seminary – and through them we glimpse a vision of the new things God is calling forth in the Church.
The Rev. Kathryn A. Kleinhans, Ph.D.
Trinity Lutheran Seminary forms leaders for Christ’s church at work in the world.