Jessie's Seminary Fund

Dear Ones, I have been in a process of discernment over the past several years regarding my call to the Episcopal priesthood, and I have been accepted as a Postulant toward Holy Orders! While I have a Master of Divinity already, I need a year of Anglican studies. In what feels like a sudden and yet amazingly clear way, I’ve been accepted to begin my year of Anglican Studies in just a few short weeks at Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) in Berkeley, CA. I am so exited and the amount of love and support and affirmation of God's call in my life through this experience has been transformative.

One of the things we don't talk about well is how much we put our clergy in debt, to follow the call of God and to serve communities well. My current student loan debt from my MDiv rivals that of friends who are in medical professions. Yet I am not in a vocation that lends itself to pay back these loans in an equal fashion. Now, I am not following my call to ministry for money, but I would love to not take out any student loans for this one year for my Certificate of Anglican Studies.

I have quit my job, am packing very few possessions in a car, and driving down in just over a week to move my life into a tiny seminary dorm for a year. Will you consider supporting me so that I do not have to worry about more student loans to cover my tuition, my books, student fees, food, etc.? This is a transformative and life-changing moment for me. At the end of this month I lose health care insurance and a stable income. I believe this is what I am supposed to do right now and I am looking forward to how my training and schooling will inform and develop me as a leader and a minister and a caretaker and a pastor of communities and people.

I look forward to returning in a year, and along the way, sharing with you about my process and this whole experience. You are my people and have supported me in words of affirmation and in life-giving ways. Perhaps I was a minister to you or your children at a church or higher Ed institution. Maybe you want to contribute funds in honor of someone or in memory of a particular time we had together or a way I impacted you or drew you closer to the Holy, to Love.

Even $10 is $10 I won't have to take out in student loans. It is humbling to ask for this, but what I'm asking is for you to participate in this journey and in my call to ministry in a very tangible way. Yesterday I read that single people take out more student loans for seminary than married people, and that women take out more loans than men. You know I am rolling solo and following this call and risking this huge moment! It is exciting to think about how this year will prepare me, and at the same time, I will not have an income in the midst of uprooting my life. This feels like a real leap of faith.

Please consider supporting me, and in doing so, you will be supporting the future communities that I will minister to and with. They will receive a minister who is less anxious about paying her bills or feeding herself, and you will provide a platform for me to spring from into the places that God is leading me.

Plus, I'll send you pictures of my dorm so you can see what it's like to be a 30-something who still needs to buy shower shoes and a dorm fridge. :)

Thank you for your support and love!
Grateful to do life with you.


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Jessie Thompson 
Portland, OR
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