When God called Meagan O’Brien to expand her ministry after fourteen years as an associate pastor at The Gathering United Methodist Church in St. Louis, Missouri, she enrolled in the Master of Divinity program at United on the advice of her senior pastor. “[United] had such a good online program,” says Meagan. “I just applied and said ‘yes’ to United, and then I found out so many reasons why God had led me there.”
One of those reasons was to prepare her for some major changes in the way the church looked by the time she graduated in May 2020. Not only was the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, but she was also preparing to move from a large urban congregation to a small rural one.
Fortunately, Meagan was able to put into practice the knowledge she’d gained at United and navigate this new model of ministry more effectively. “[Seminary] helped me think theologically,” she says. “Part of that is, how do I make [theology] more applicable for me and other people… How do I put those pieces together in a way that makes sense for what is happening now?”
To Meagan, attending a seminary like United is more than just a milestone: “it’s foundational for your ministry and for your life.”