School of Theology and Ministry
News and Events

News and Events

  • Meet our Graduate Assistants! Sarah, Eliacin & Mary

    Meet our Graduate Assistants!
    Sarah, Eliacin & Mary

     

    Sarah Bania-Dobyns

    Sarah Bania-Dobyns

    "When I came to Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry (STM) in 2010, I was convinced that my decision appeared radically counter-intuitive to my broader community of family, friends and parish. I was in the last year of my PhD at the time, which is, to say the least, a slightly unusual time to begin yet another program. I have had the honor of being in a community where I can ask questions about the whole of my life and where we listen and are listened to are part of our daily routines.
     
    After having been at the School part-time for two years now, I see how my program is transforming how I go about my work and everyday life. To summarize a comment one fellow student made, I’m still doing the same things I did before I came here, but now I do them in a different context and with different eyes. As someone who did not grow up in the church, it makes all the difference to me to understand anything I do as a ministerial vocation in the church—not just a job or a habit, even if it is in the secular world. I can lead by "standing in between", whether that means cultivating a new space for people to build community, or being the one who can ask new questions to long-established groups and organizations.  

    Some of my work experiences have included grassroots organizing, teaching international relations, working as an editor for an electronic journal, and recently mental health ministry. In all these areas and more, I have been a resourceful gatherer who sees potential in otherwise empty space.  As an undergraduate, I was the one who could draw together the more politically confrontational groups with the pacifists so that we could have necessary discussions about nonviolent conduct in demonstrations. And while working on my PhD in International Studies (University of Denver, 2011), I often convened interdisciplinary discussions and forums that otherwise would not have taken place.
     
    Throughout this 2012-2013 academic year, I will be working on behalf of the School's Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue efforts as a graduate assistant, while I pursue my internship with the mental health chaplaincy. On the side, I have begun teaching workshops at Fremont Abbey for the Arts that incorporate artistic expression and spiritual formation, which has recently re-invigorated my interest in teaching. I am also involved in gathering a group of people interested in building community around Ignatian and Anglican spiritualities. I am very much looking forward to many of my past and present interests converging in new ways over this next season here at Seattle University STM."

     


    Eliacin Rosario-Cruz

    Eliacin Rosario-Cruz

    "I am a husband and father, wandering spiritual companion, photographer, communitarian, community cultivator.  I unashamedly drive a mini-van. I’ve been known for paradoxically falling asleep watching movies and drinking way too much coffee. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and engaged many ministry experiences in my homeland-- including filling the role of church planter, spiritual director and 10 years as Program Director at a retreat and conference center. In 2005, my family and I moved to Seattle as part of our pilgrimage toward a more harmonious life.
     
    My family and I are participants in a web of communities with different levels of intentionality– residential and non-residential.  My interest in “intentional community” while part of my cultural heritage, is also informed by my sense of hope in community that emerges out of Christian faith.  I was raised with a very communal consciousness. In my early 20′s, I discovered the works of Fr. Ernesto Cardenal from Nicaragua and his “neo-monastic” community in the Solentiname Islands. Since then, my interest has deepened as I explore the practices of communities of faith, resistance and creativity.
     
    I’m working on a Master of Divinity degree at the School for Theology and Ministry at Seattle University. I am a Postulant for Holy Orders in The Episcopal Church, which means I am a “Priest wannabe.” My current ministry is as pastoral leader at Breakfast Liturgy, an experimental sacramental community that gathers around a food and service seeking to foster community, prayer and hospitality. I will be starting my MTI internship, as a part of the degree program, this Fall at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Queen Anne, Seattle.
     
    I have had the honor to be a speaker/presenter at conferences such as: Wild Goose Festival (2011)  Big Tent Christianity (2011), TransForm Conference (2011), Episcopal Village PDX (2010), Greenbelt UK (2010), Film Faith and Justice Festival (2008, 2009), Emergent Theological Conversation with Prof. Jürgen Moltmann (2009), NAIITS – North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies (2009), The New Conspirators Conference (2008), among others.
     
    In the June 2008 issue of Sojourners Magazine, I was mentioned as one the top 10 Next-Gen leaders to watch. I have collaborated with God’s Politics: a Blog by Jim Wallis and friends – Link here. I contributed to an article titled "New Monasticism, also known as ordinary life in the neighborhood" which appeared in the Winter 2009 issue of the Geez Magazine. Link here. My reflection on Breakfast Liturgy was recently published at The Episcopal Voice (Diocesan publication), page 7. This short reflection was originally a paper for Sacramental and Liturgical Theology class. It was very well received in the diocese.
     
    Other involvements and connections include:

    • Intentional community
    • Multiculturalism
    • Global justice movements
    • Autonomous movements
    • New monasticism
    • Spiritual listening
    • Creative expressions of church
    • Anti-racism and racial reconciliation

     


    Mary Simpson-Stanton

    Mary Simpson-Stanton

    "Here at Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry, practically everything is new for me! This past June, almost three weeks before my first day of classes, I started work as a graduate assistant for the School's Faith & Family Homelessness Project and am responsible for its work throughout King County. I am a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling (MAPC) student, pursuing ordination as a Deacon in the United Methodist Church after graduation. I haven’t figured out my answer to “and what are you going to do with your degree?” yet, but I am thrilled to learn as much as I can here and trust that the answer will find me along the way. What isn’t new to me is working with homelessness as one of my main areas of focus. I served as a Development Assistant and Receptionist in the Church of Mary Magdalene / Mary’s Place offices for my first two years out of college, as well as having worked with disabled and disadvantaged adults during my term as an AmeriCorps volunteer. I am learning more and more every day about working in an interreligious setting, and figuring out how to translate what I learned working at ground level with homeless women into advocacy skills."

     

     

     

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