It seems trite, but the core of my seminary and Black Church Studies experience at Louisville Seminary was a feeling of meaningful community. I grew up in a diverse context where there were many opportunities to give and receive across racial boundaries. As a Caucasian male, I came to understand what my identity means only in relationship with people who did not share my racial or cultural characteristics. As I entered seminary, I feared that I would lose this opportunity due to the relative homogeneity of my denomination. What I discovered, however, is that the administration, faculty and student body are actively cultivating intercultural relationships without sacrificing academic rigor or ignoring genuine differences among groups of people. I am so grateful to have received the spiritual formation that emerged from three years in a learning community with people from many different backgrounds. This was an invaluable experience that will always influence how I serve as a pastor.
—Rev. Beau Brown, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Olney, Illinois