Greetings again all my little bloggers out there! In case you didn’t know, we’re working here at McCormick to get people out there. We want to introduce you to all of our student representatives before the year is up. So, since I actually sit on our Student Session, I had to ask myself these questions. It was a bit awkward. But here’s some background: I’m a member of the Greater Atlanta Presbytery (holla if you’re a Southerner!), I have 2 dogs, Pigeon and DiDi, and I love coffee. I also work as a Student Rep and I went to the University of West Georgia where I studied Art History and Philosophy. Socrates and Kierkegaard are two of my heroes (along with Jean/John Calvin), and I am doing my field site at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Evanston, IL right now.

Hope you all enjoy!

‘Til next time!

Peace ~ Shelley D.


Shelley Donaldson

Why did you come to McCormick?

I came to McCormick because they let me have my dogs and because it was a diverse place where I could feel safe to question myself, my faith and be challenged and grow. McCormick wasn’t on my radar until a friend suggested it to me. I had no reason to come to Chicago, I thought I would end up at Austin Seminary. But once I was here, I knew McCormick was right. I had never even visited! I was accepted and moved up here. I literally came here for the very first time the night I drove in with my U-Haul and my dogs!

Which group do you represent on Session?

I represent the Board of Deacons. I’m one of 2 Co-Moderators. The Deacons are separate from the Session in that we’re our own entity. So as a Deacon on Session, I have voice but no vote. The Board of Deacons see to the matters of the community such as prayer life, worship, health, healing, babies being born and what not. We try to care for the students as best we can. We work closely with the Office of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Christine Vogel. If the students need anything, they can come to us.

What’s one thing you’ve learned?

How to pray off the cuff when asked. When I was in my first year I was in my Pilgrimage in Faithfulness class (PIF), and I had to do this worship service with some other students. I had been volunteered by one of the professors and so I said I would help. I was told only that I would do the Prayer of Thanksgiving. I’m a good Southern, Frozen Chosen Presbyterian. So I needed atleast a week to write this prayer out. I was given about 5 minutes. I bowed my head and just prayed. It was glorious! It was so freeing. I had never prayed like that before. And it happened because my classmates told me that I could if I just did it. It was a big experience for me.

One thing you hope for here at McCormick?

I really hope that people can find their voices here and that people are shaken up a bit. I think it’s so dangerous when people are in seminary and they know it all! Nope, sorry. If seminary teaches you anything, it’s that you don’t know it all. But you can find your voice and figure out what you do believe and go from there. No matter what, you faith can always get a little stronger.

(That’s me and LauraBeth sorting at “Books for Africa”)

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