By Morgan Smith, Assistant Faith Editor (Photo by Jonathan Soder/The Bison)
The Hobb’s College of Theology and Ministry is known for educating the next generation of pastors, missionaries and theologians.
In the past, ministry and theology programs have typically been male-dominated, but through the years, more and more women have entered the college.
In fact, many of Hobb’s women have found unique ways to put their degrees to work both overseas and in the Shawnee community.
Senior Haylee Belcher is a cross-cultural ministry and communications double major. She said she has noticed that more women have entered the college, with many choosing to focus on cross-cultural ministry.
“A lot of my classes are primarily men, and so that’s really interesting,” she said. “I’ve seen, at least in my class, and especially in the incoming classes, a lot more women in the classes. It also depends on the type of class. I find in all of my cross-cultural ministry specific classes it’s primarily women, whereas if it’s Bible it’s usually men.”
Belcher said her experience in Hobb’s College has been great, and the fact that her classes are primarily made up of men has never been a problem.
She also said she thinks one of the reasons why cross-cultural ministry specific classes are primarily women may be because of the number of women who aspire to be missionaries.
“Honestly, just more women come into college with a plan of being missionaries that I’ve seen anyways, and guys usually want to be pastors,” Belcher said.
Belcher plans to use her experiences at Hobb’s to serve overseas in Brazil after graduation.
Seniors Amyy Schumer and Caty Bridges, are also cross-cultural ministry majors, with minors in teaching english as a second language.
Like Belcher, both women said they’ve enjoyed their experience in Hobb’s and that it’s helped them grow in their ministry.
“I like learning new things about ministry, like different ways to reach people,” Bridges said. “Like this past fall I did hands-on in Thailand, and the way we reach people was to teach English. I liked that a lot.”
Bridges said she would like to go into full-time missions after graduation.
“When I was younger, I used to think I knew what kind of ministry I wanted, but right now I don’t,” she said. “I just want to serve to the best of my ability,”
Schumer said she is planning to serve in the Shawnee community as a police officer after graduation.
“I feel like this is a calling that has a unique impact on the community,” she said. “I am going to continue serving others and starting Kingdom-focused Communities in Shawnee, bringing the Light of the Gospel to the darkest parts of this city.”
She said Hobb’s College can seem intimidating at first, but all the professors are intelligent and care about their students.
“Honestly, there are times I am hesitant to tell people what my major is because they think I cannot get a job with a degree in ministry,” Schumer said. “But I always tell people that the things I have learned in my classes have made me grow as a person that I could not have gained from any other classes.”
Bridges also said she has never felt any kind of inferiority in the college.
“All the professors in the college are men, but I’ve never felt like they’ve undermined me because I’m a female,” she said. “They’ve always been really respectful.”
Schumer and Belcher both encourage other women who are interested in studying theology or ministry to be brave, and not feel intimidated.
“Don’t go into ministry just to find a husband and have babies,” Schumer said. “Go into ministry knowing you can make a difference in the world. Follow Jesus boldly, and know that you don’t have to have your life together all the time just because you are a ministry major… but never stop seeking earnestly after the Lord.”
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