Why I Chose Asbury – Part 3: Community
Asbury Theological Seminary has been my home for the last six months, and will be for the next 3 1/2 years. As a candidate for ordination in the United Methodist Church, there are a number of seminaries that I could have gone to. Many of them would have offered full tuition scholarships, and some would even pay for my living expenses, if I had chosen to study with them. Some are quite well known for their academic scholasticism and offer quite a reputation to add to the resume: Candler School of Theology at Emory, Drew University, Duke Divinity School, Boston University, Perkins School of Theology… so why then would I choose the tiny little evangelical inter-denominational Wesleyan seminary in the middle-of-nowhere Kentucky?
Lastly, I chose Asbury because it is the only seminary I found that not only has an entire department dedicated to community formation, but also a Vice President of Community Formation. Community is so important to Asbury that they employ a full-time Vice President specifically dedicated to forming, providing, engaging, and supporting a community for students and families.
Asbury emphasizes that this seminary is not just a place for academic learning, but a place to grow in spiritual discipline and formation. It is a place to strive toward holiness. It is a place for rich fellowship, deep corporate worship, and doing life together.
Asbury has a Family Formation program to support marriages and families through their time in seminary. Asbury has a Global Community Formation program to support the inter-ethnic, diverse community of international students from all over the world, with different cultures and needs, and with the integration of a global theological perspective. Asbury has a Healing ministry specifically to provide healing prayer, spiritual direction, counseling, crisis intervention, and education in healing ministry.
At Asbury, these various aspects of community and spiritual formation are just as important as the academic curriculum.
We are blessed to live in a brand new townhouse in a community of 150 homes built exclusively for seminary family housing. Kalas Village was built for the seminary family community to live together, grow together, study together, pray together, and play together. Kids run the streets with their new best friends. Families join with neighbors to go through these rigorous years of study and trusting in the Lord’s direction together. We are blessed to be in a covenant group that meets weekly with 4 other couples who have become some of our closest friends.
In the short 6 months of being at Asbury, Nicole and I have made some of the best friends we’ve ever known – friends that we will have for a lifetime and more. We live with a community of 150+ seminary students who have surrender their lives to the calling of God to seek him in study, prayer, worship, and preparation for ministry. And we get to do that together, as neighbors. We are truly blessed.
About the Author
Kevin Cook is a 4th year student at Asbury Theological Seminary and an Aspirant for Ordination in the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA). After graduating, Kevin hopes to plant a contemporary three-streams Anglican Church. He and his wife Nicole attend Wilmore Anglican Church in Kentucky.
Kevin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Master of Business Administration from Florida State University. Kevin enjoys playing music and leading worship, reading fiction and spiritual classics, drinking coffee, and spending time with family and friends.
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