My very public call to ministry

Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Karen Collum
author

Karen Collum

Karen Collum is a Master of Ministry student at Avondale University.

The pastor pointed at me: “You should study at Avondale”

If you had asked me 10 years ago if I would ever study theology, I would have laughed. It just wasn’t in my life plan. I was a dedicated, passionate teacher and a busy mum of four primary-school-aged kids. I’m married to a pastor, but the thought of studying to perhaps become one never crossed my mind.

It seems God had other ideas.

I experienced what I can only describe as a public, God-given call to ministry five years ago. After arguing with God for a few months, I surrendered to His will in the middle of a sermon at our local conference’s annual camp meeting. “OK, God,” I said, “I’ll do it, but it makes zero sense. I’m going to need you to show me this is really what you want.” And show me He did.

At the end of the sermon, the visiting pastor looked out over the large crowd and challenged each one of us to follow the call God had placed on our hearts. The call for one person: to step up into leadership at their local church. For another: to begin a ministry for the homeless. The pastor pointed at me and said, “Maybe you’ve been called to study theology at Avondale.”

After recovering from the shock of my encounter with God, I enrolled at Avondale University the next semester. It’s a juggle—and often a struggle—to fit study in around family, work and local church ministry, but it’s so rewarding. My relationship with God has deepened. My understanding of the Bible and the history of Christianity has grown exponentially. I’ve been taught by passionate and knowledgeable lecturers. I’ve discovered again and again God’s heart for His people.

The icing on the cake: when I discovered the course would be upgraded from a graduate diploma to a master’s. Finishing with a Master of Ministry is important to me. After all that work, all that sacrifice, all those late nights and early mornings and weekends, I wasn’t going to let a little extra work get in the way. I’m now completing extra assessment tasks to upgrade my qualification, and I’m on track to graduate at the end of 2023.

Studying theology was never in my plan, but I’m so glad it was in God’s. Maybe a call to ministry is His plan for you, too?

Passionate about ministry?

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