Student Spotlight: Nicole Baker

I am currently the lay leader at Germantown United Methodist Church, Germantown, OH, where I am also a member. My role in the church is to work with the pastor in creating a two-year cyclical curriculum for Spiritual Growth Practices. I do weekly children’s messages, and have ample opportunities to preach, teach, and lead Bible Study. Angel Food Ministries is on its second year at Germantown UMC, and I have been coordinating the program since its inception. I love the interaction with various ministry teams, community organizations and individual customers through my work with Angel Food Ministries. My studies and relationships at United have greatly enriched all areas of my ministry, for I have begun to see a broader and more complete picture of my ministry as I collaborate with fellow students and professors.

I chose United because, as a former educator, it is important for me to be able to interact in a classroom setting, and United is less than thirty minutes from my home. I also chose United for its focus on Spirit-led renewal of the church. One only needs to attend a class or worship with the student body and faculty at Chapel to understand how loyal United is to its mission. I can hardly wait to get to classes and Chapel each week!

United is also committed to helping students grow through loving and understanding others outside the Christian tradition. My favorite experience at United, thus far, has been the visit to the campus by author and speaker Rabbi Brad Hirschfield. He not only helped me to embrace the richness of the Jewish roots of my faith, but also brought with him an invitation of peaceful understanding as we hold onto our own faith while embracing interaction with people of other faiths.

The most important thing I’ve learned as a second-semester student at United, is that our Ministerial Formation is something to be taken seriously and is essentially done in community. United’s model is phenomenal! Formation is the best part of my education here. Weekly, I am surrounded by loving colleagues, a highly trained and compassionate supervisor, and a faculty advisor who deeply cares about my growth and learning at this institution. Through formation, I have met friends for a lifetime and gained valuable tools for ministry.

As you prayerfully consider attending United, I encourage you to come and visit the campus where you can interact with students, faculty and staff who greet one another as brothers and sisters in Christ, sharing the blessing of theological education and ministerial formation.

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a rainbow colored stained glass medallion from United Theological Seminaryportrait of Dr. Andrew Sung Park