2016-2017 SIMinarians

Merit Scholars

Grant Recipients

Steph Burette

JR
(SIM/Carpenter)
Convocation-Ep. Churches in Europe
Berkeley

Stephanie was born in Picardy, France, and moved to Paris at age 21 in order to study literature, especially art theory and art criticism. Raised as an atheist, she was however very much attracted to the church and what she would now identify as "divine", especially through arts such as music, paintings, literature and gothic architecture. In 2009, in the course of her PhD, she spent a semester in Oxford and began to attend services of Evensong at New College. Although music was her first "excuse" to participate in services, she quickly realized that the spirituality in this chapel was moving her in a most profound way she had never experienced. The example of a female priest and scholar she witnessed there through Dean Jane Shaw led her to consider the priesthood. Back in Paris, she became a parishioner at the American Cathedral, serving in multiple areas. In 2014 she defended her PhD and in 2015, after a discernment process that confirmed her call to the priesthood, she became a Postulant to Holy Orders. She is currently a seminarian at Berkeley/Yale Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music, where she finds a wonderful balance between theological education and her love for the arts. Committed to dedicate her life to God as a priest and possibly as a scholar, she wants to express her profound gratitude to SIM as none of this would be possible without the SIM/Carpenter scholarship.

Benjamin Thomas

SR
(SIM/EQB)
Eastern Tennessee
Sewanee

Anna Shine

MIDD
(SIM/Mercer)
Western North Carolina
VTS

Jason Roberson

SR
(SIM/Mercer)
Episcopal Church in South Carolina
VTS

Jason is a senior at Virginia Seminary and a postulant in the Episcopal Church in South Carolina. Prior to seminary Jason worked as a Spanish health care interpreter, and he taught Spanish language and linguistics at the University of Georgia, Penn State University, and the College of Charleston. He plans to return to South Carolina after graduation and hopes to continue work in Hispanic ministries.

Emily J. Garcia

SR
Massachusetts
Berkeley Divinity School - New Haven, CT

Emily J. Garcia is a Candidate for Holy Orders from the Diocese of Massachusetts and a senior at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. She came to the Episcopal / Anglican tradition ten years ago at Princeton after being raised in the Evangelical Free Church, and is especially interested in bringing some of the Evangelical passion for Biblical studies and Christian education into her work in the Episcopal Church. She is incredibly grateful to SIM for their generosity and support.

Gregory Stark

MIDD
Ohio
Berkeley Divinity School - New Haven, CT

Gregory Stark is a Candidate for Holy Orders (Priesthood) in the diocese of Ohio, and a senior at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. Gregory lives at the Berkeley Center where he, with his fellow house residents, helps prepare the morning coffee and the weekly community meal. He is an intern at St. James's Episcopal Church in West Hartford, CT, where he helps out with Sunday worship, confirmation class, and youth group. Greg spent the fall semester of his middler year at Westcott House Theological College in Cambridge, England. Prior to seminary, he served with City Year Cleveland, an educational nonprofit, where he was the English Language Arts coordinator. He loves to talk about poetry, theological education, monasticism, and discipleship in a globalized world. Outside of classes and church work, Greg enjoys baking sourdough bread, playing the violin, and going on walks.

Dante A. Tavolaro

SR
Rhode Island
Penfield Scholar
Berkeley Divinity School - New Haven, CT

Dante Tavolaro is a Candidate for Holy Orders (Priesthood), and a Senior at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. He is a graduate of Rhode Island College holding a B.A. in Political Science. Dante is an associate of the Society of St. Margaret, and has been active on both Diocesan and wider Episcopal Church level; including a three time deputy to General Convention and serving as the lay member from Province 1 on the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (2012-2015). Dante currently lives in New Haven, CT with his partner Kaytee and their two cats KC and Percy. When not busy with his studies, Dante enjoys cooking, reading, golf, and playing the saxophone.

Holly Clark

MIDD
Maine
Berkeley Divinity School - New Haven, CT

Holly C. Clark is a postulant for the priesthood from the Episcopal Diocese of Maine studying at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. Her sponsoring parish is Christ Church, Norway located in the foothills of western Maine. At Christ Church, Holly was a member of the choir and altar guild and was involved in numerous projects, including being the editor of the church newsletter. Prior to entering seminary, Holly was a high school English teacher, department chair, and associate dean of academics. Having been an educator for nearly twenty years in both public and independent schools, she feels called to minister with people in new ways as a priest in the Episcopal Church. She finds joy and restoration in the arts and by being in nature throughout all seasons. Holly is profoundly grateful for the honor of being a SIM grant recipient. Truly, SIM has made attending Berkeley at Yale possible.

Stephen Lane

SR
Western New York
Bexley/Seabury - Columbus, OH

Steve is a senior seminarian at Bexley Seabury Seminary in Chicago. Steve is a postulant for ordination to the Priesthood in the Diocese of Western New York. The son of an Episcopal Priest, Rev. Dr. Warren W. Lane, Steve is a cradle Episcopalian. Ordained as a Deacon in 2008, Steve has been engaged in ministry to those in 12 step recovery programs. Having been involved in missional outreach, Steve is particularly interested in reaching out to those that are not yet engaged with the Saving Grace of Jesus Christ. Steve was the President of the Partnership for Mission and Outreach in the Diocese of Western New York and serves as the Treasurer of the Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church (RMEC). Married with three children and three grandchildren, Steve places much value on family as well as the community of faith. Before entering ordained ministry, Steve owned a small independent pet store. Steve also highly values his singing in church choirs since the age of 8 when he started singing in men and boys choirs. Steve has been active in the Episcopal Church since 1991 having served on several search committees, vestry, and leading liturgical worship.

David Carlisle

MIDD
Utah
Church Divinity School of the Pacific - Berkeley, CA

I am a postulant for holy orders in the diocese of Utah, and a second year M.Div. student at CDSP. After some years in academia, I have been delighted to return to the other side of the desk to learn crucial skills for pastoral ministry and faith leadership, as I continue to follow God's call to new ways of serving the church, either within the academy or outside of it. My family (spouse and two sons, 6 and 2) and I are deeply grateful to SIM and its contributors, past and present, for their generosity to us and so many others, which has not only made possible our small part of this collective journey towards the future of the church, but has also smoothed the path for so many great leaders in our communities.

Aaron Klinefelter

MIDD
Southern Ohio
Vance Scholar
Church Divinity School of the Pacific - Berkeley, CA

Aaron Klinefelter is connector, technologist, GenXer, gardener, and a seminarian at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California. Before moving to Berkeley to attend CDSP, Aaron and his wife, Sarah, three kids, Cloey, Timothy, and Elizabeth, and dog Journey, lived and ministered in Cincinnati, Ohio. Aaron grew up in a small town in Central Kentucky in a family of teachers and faithful United Methodists. His grandfather was a missionary pastor to the hills of Appalachia in Eastern Kentucky and his ministry and witness has deeply impacted and formed the kind of preacher, pastor, and servant Aaron hopes to be.

Anil Shah

MIDD
Los Angeles
Church Divinity School of the Pacific - Berkeley, CA

My journey to the Episcopal church began with a conversation with a stranger at a grocery store. I was working at Trader Joe's and struck up a conversation with a customer. Somehow, we ended up talking about church, she suggested that I check out a little Episcopal Church down the road and the rest is history! My local Parish, St. Paul's Pomona, quickly became a spiritual home where I was able to discern and begin to live into my call to ministry. I am a former Evangelical and one of my hope for my future ministry is to create worship experiences that are intelligible to people who come from different denominations!

Tamra Tucker

MIDD
Massachusetts
Crocker Scholar
Church Divinity School of the Pacific - Berkeley, CA

Laurel Coote

MIDD
Los Angeles
Bloy House - Claremont, CA

My name is Laurel Coote, and I'm a seminarian at the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont (Bloy House), in partnership with the Claremont School of Theology, in California. Bloy House is an urban model of seminary, one that offers classes on weekends (Friday nights and Saturdays) so that working people like me who are unable to attend a residential seminary can participate. It's also a partnership program in that two thirds of our coursework is done at Bloy House and one third is done in partnership with another seminary (presently Claremont School of Theology, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, and Episcopal Divinity School). I am an Episcopalian and my sponsoring parish is St. Cross Episcopal Church in Hermosa Beach, CA. I just finished my second year out of four years of coursework and practicum, and am presently half way through my Field Education at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Los Angeles. St. Mary's is a mid-sized urban parish located in the Koreatown neighborhood of L.A., and is comprised of Japanese, Mexican (Oaxacan) and Anglo members. It is rich in culture and diversity. This coming summer (2017) I will also complete my Clinical Pastoral Education at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles. I am enjoying exploring the many expressions and ideas of what it means to be in ministry in the 21st century as I discern where and how God is calling me personally to serve God's people. I am so grateful for the wisdom of my professors, the insights of my classmates and mentors, and the wealth of information I am taking in as a graduate student. I am grateful also to be a recipient of a SIM Scholarship. Balancing school, field education and work is a challenge that has been lessened by the SIM Scholarship. With this financial support, I've been able to spend a little less time working and a little more time studying, and that has made all the difference.

Carlos Ruvalcaba

MIDD
Los Angeles
Anderson Scholar
Bloy House - Claremont, CA

My name is Carlos Ruvalcaba, and I am a seminarian at the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont in partnership with the Claremont School of Theology. This spring semester I am concluding my second year of the Master in Divinity program. I am a postulant to the priesthood in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. My journey to the priesthood started since my childhood, but at the same time and even at that age I was convinced that I wanted to have a wife and kids so I had to put my call on hold. I have studies in medicine school and this gave me the opportunity to be helpful to many people, but a feeling of emptiness was present at almost every day of my life, until I decided to attend to the call that God was making me again. The feeling of emptiness has been replaced by one of joy and gratitude. I have returned to the hospital environment, although in another capacity (as a chaplain intern), since I am completing the first unit of clinical theology at Good Samaritan Hospital in downtown Los Angeles. I also have the opportunity to be the coordinator of the diocesan Hispanic / Latino ministry group, and I am the co-director of a diocesan program called the Leadership Institute which is designed to train lay leaders in our congregations to be better leaders, well prepared to serve God and their neighbor. My gratitude is for my wife Alicia, my children, my bishops, and I am also hugely grateful to be a SIMinarian. Without their unconditional support it would not be possible for me to attend to this call.

Jean Pierre Arrossa

SR
Rio Grande
Seminary of the Southwest - Austin, TX

Jean Pierre Arrossa is a Master of Divinity student at the Seminary of the Southwest. He is a Candidate for Holy Orders from the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande.

Cristi E. Chapman

SR
Olympia
Seminary of the Southwest - Austin, TX

Cristi Chapman is a senior in the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program at Seminary of the Southwest in Austin. She is Candidate for Holy Orders to the Sacred Order of Priests through the Diocese of Olympia. In December 2016, she was ordained as a deacon by Bishop Gregory Rickel. Cristi’s passions for ministry include congregational development and leadership, Christian stewardship, and Christian formation. Prior to seminary, Cristi worked for 15 years in higher education administration and for five years in public accounting. Cristi received a Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Professional Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin. She and her husband Chris have a teenaged daughter. After graduation, Cristi looks forward to returning to the Pacific Northwest, where she will serve as a curate at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle, Washington.

James C. Clarkson

MIDD
Western North Carolina
Seminary of the Southwest - Austin, TX

J. Clarkson was born and raised near Nashville, TN, but fell in love with the mountains of Western North Carolina while he was a student at Warren Wilson College. After graduation, he joined the faculty of Christ School in Arden, NC, where he was introduced to The Episcopal Church. For almost 20 years, J. served as a fundraiser for schools, colleges, and non-profits in the Asheville area. During most of that time, J. worshiped at the Cathedral of All Souls. He and his wife Abigail were married at All Souls in 2000, and their daughter Louisa was baptized there in 2002. In 2014, J. and his family relocated to Austin, TX, so that he could attend Seminary of the Southwest. J. was ordained to the deaconate on December 17, 2016 by Bishop José A. McLoughlin. He expects to graduate from the MDiv program at Southwest in May 2017 with concentration in Hispanic Church Studies.

Carrie Duncan

SR
Mississippi
McElraevy Scholar
Seminary of the Southwest - Austin, TX

Carrie Duncan is a Master of Divinity student at the Seminary of the Southwest. She is a Candidate for Holy Orders from the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi. Before seminary, Carrie served in parish administration for 13 years. She and her husband Nat have ten year old twin boys.

P. Kelly Mahon

MIDD
San Diego
Seminary of the Southwest - Austin, TX

Kelly Mahon is a lifelong Episcopalian and is now studying for an M.Div at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin Texas. Originally from San Diego Kelly worked as a youth minister at two parishes in the area before starting seminary. Besides school his interests are travel, cooking, and photography.

Katherine Harper

MIDD
Alabama
Seminary of the Southwest - Austin, TX

Katherine is a Candidate for Holy Orders from the Diocese of Alabama. She is married to Sam, a writer and work-from-home parent, and they have a daughter (5 years) and a son (1 year). She is a lifelong Episcopalian. As a lay person, she was active in Education for Ministry, choir, vestry, ministry for youth and young adults, and services for older and disabled adults. Before seminary, Katherine had a 15 year career in the areas of injury prevention and health promotion. Her call to ministry began through participation in Vocare, geared toward young adults as they listen for Gods call in their lives, and this is one of the passions she will bring into parish ministry after ordination. In their family fun time, Katherine, Sam and their kids enjoy playing outside, going on walks with their dog Margo, watching baseball, and cooking. The prayers and financial support from SIM has been invaluable through this time in seminary, thank you so very much!

Caleb Roberts

MIDD
Oklahoma
Seminary of the Southwest - Austin, TX

Caleb Roberts is an MDiv senior at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, TX and was recently ordained a transitional deacon in the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma. He and his wife, Julie, are native Oklahomans and have two children, Alice and Charles. Before entering seminary, Caleb studied economics and philosophy at Oklahoma State University and worked in banking.

John Tober

MIDD
Rio Grande
Seminary of the Southwest - Austin, TX

John Tober came to the Episcopal Church in high school in the 80s and developed a lifelong love for the Episcopal Church. He is a senior seminarian at Seminary of the Southwest and a candidate for Holy Orders from the Diocese of the Rio Grande. He came to the Diocese during his final Active Duty tour before retiring from the US Air Force Reserves. He is a graduate of Southern Illinois University and is married to Amy LaTour. He and Amy are the proud parents of one daughter, Amy Tober. John is thankful for the prayerful and financial support of the Society for the Increase of the Ministry whose generosity helped bridge the shortfalls in his seminary funding.

Joshua Woods

MIDD
Central Gulf Coast
Seminary of the Southwest - Austin, TX

Josh Woods is Master of Divinity student at the Seminary of the Southwest. Along with preparing for ordination as a priest in the Episcopal Church, he is also a Chaplain Candidate for the United States Air Force Reserve and is discerning the possibility of USAF active duty chaplaincy after graduation. He currently lives in Austin, TX with his wife, Laura, and their two puppy dogs, Ezra and Roxie.

Michael T. Woods

SR
West Texas
Seminary of the Southwest - Austin, TX

Mike is a Master of Divinity student at the Seminary of the Southwest. He is a Candidate for Holy Orders from the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas. He served as a youth minister and lay associate in West Texas and the Diocese of Hawaii for 14 years before going to seminary. Mike is married to Tami and they have three beautiful children: Harper (6), Hudson (4), and Hadyn (1).

Jeremy Carlson

MIDD
Alabama
Jones Scholar
School of Theology, Sewanee - Sewanee, TN

Jeremy Carlson is a Middler from the Diocese of Alabama. Jeremy is married to Laura, his wife of over 16 years. Laura is a Spanish teacher in a local public high school. Jeremy and Laura have two daughters, aged 10 and 6 years. Before beginning seminary, Jeremy practiced law (civil litigation) for eleven years in Birmingham, Alabama and in Jackson, Mississippi. Before beginning law school, Jeremy also worked as a public school social studies teacher; as a lawyer, Jeremy continued teaching and served as an adjunct instructor (in business law) at a small liberal arts university. Jeremy's sending parish is St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Birmingham. At St. Thomas, Jeremy served on the vestry, as a lay eucharistic minister and acolyte, and as a Sunday school teacher. While in seminary, Jeremy has enjoyed his course work immensely--particularly his Biblical studies courses. Jeremy is active in the chapel life of the seminary and, beginning in 2017, will serve as one its sacristans. Jeremy is a New Testament teaching assistant and is actively involved in new student recruitment. He also plays on the seminary's intramural football team. Away from the seminary, Jeremy is an avid cyclist and well-intentioned orchestral trombonist. Jeremy plays bass trombone in the Sewanee Symphony Orchestra. Jeremy and his family are profoundly grateful for SIM and its support of his seminary education.

Katherine F. Dougherty

SR
Virginia
School of Theology, Sewanee - Sewanee, TN

Elizabeth Embler

MIDD
East Tennessee
Mitman Scholar
School of Theology, Sewanee - Sewanee, TN

Liz Embler is a senior seminarian at the School of Theology at the University of the South, Sewanee. She is from the Diocese of East Tennessee. Liz grew up in Knoxville, TN and is a life-long Episcopalian. Prior to seminary, Liz graduated cum laude from Maryville College in Maryville, TN in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. From 2010-2012, Liz served in the Julian Year, a program of Episcopal Charities and Community Services and the Episcopal Service Corps, in Chicago, IL where she lived in intentional community and worked at Ravenswood Community Services at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Ravenswood as their Assistant Program Director. She also served as a hospital chaplain at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville from 2013-2014. As a student at Sewanee, she has served in numerous capacities at the seminary, but is most proud of her involvement with the Haiti Sommer Fellowship. As the first fellow, Liz traveled to Haiti twice in 2016 and worked to establish relationships between the seminary community and the outreach program at the college, the Episcopal seminary in Port au Prince, and the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti. While at seminary, Liz met her future husband, Rev. Robert Beazley T'16, from the Diocese of Florida, and they will be married on May 19, 2017. Liz has loved her time at Sewanee with Robert, her dog Grover Cleveland, and her cat CJ Cregg. Liz was ordained to the transitional diaconate on February 11, 2017.

Claire T. Makins

SR
Northwest Texas
School of Theology, Sewanee - Sewanee, TN

Claire Makins is a senior seminarian at the School of Theology of the University of the South, Sewanee. She is from the Diocese of Northwest Texas. Claire grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and is a life-long Episcopalian. Her grandfather was an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Texas. Prior to entering seminary, Claire was a teacher and taught high school History, Literature, Composition, Spiritual Classics, and Spanish. Claire graduated from the University of the South in 2001 cum laude with a degree in Spanish. The journey towards ordained ministry began as a child, but became a concrete hope in college after an internship at St. Michael and All Angels in Dallas, TX. The calling persisted throughout her post-college years, and everything came together to start the process to go to seminary about 4 years ago. With support and encouragement from many family members and members of her sending parish, Claire entered the formal discernment process in 2012 and entered seminary in 2014. In seminary, Claire has participated in the Pastoral Care team, the Elections Committee, the Flower Guild, and has served as the Head Sacristan for the past year. Claire had the opportunity to visit the seminary in Matanzas, Cuba, in October. She served as a translator and student body representative at a conference celebrating the seminary’s 70th anniversary. In addition, Claire attended the Preaching Excellence Program for 2016 in Richmond, Virginia. She completed her Field Education at Thankful Memorial in Chattanooga, TN. Claire is married to Daniel, a musician, and they have two children, Cal (8) and James (6). Claire was ordained to the transitional diaconate on December 3, 2016.

James Marrs

MIDD
South Dakota
Kaman Scholar
School of Theology, Sewanee - Sewanee, TN

Lisa Meirow

MIDD
Florida
School of Theology, Sewanee - Sewanee, TN

Lisa Meirow is a Postulant for Holy Orders from the Diocese of Florida and a Middler at The University of the South in Sewanee. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Lisa was raised in the Episcopal Church and was deeply involved in her diocese, parish, and in a host of young adult ministries- including the planting of the University of North Florida chapel ministry- before moving to Tennessee. Prior to seminary, Lisa worked as an attorney with a focus on insurance and finance. Lisa is married to Jordan Meirow and they have one basset hound, Daisy. Lisa and Jordan are grateful to SIM for assisting them in following God’s call.

Regan M. Schutz

SR
Oregon
School of Theology, Sewanee - Sewanee, TN

Regan Schutz is a Candidate for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon. Graduating with a Master of Divinity from the School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee in May, Regan is deeply immersed in the world of children's ministry. She has served as the Godly Play Foundation's Director of Communications & Development and Director of Training while attending seminary and plans to continue this ministry after Ordination. The opportunity to attend residential seminary has been a tremendous gift for Regan's whole family. A fifth-generation Oregonian, Regan along with her husband Paul, their two daughters, and three family cats moved to Tennessee for seminary and fell in love with Sewanee. Paul serves the School of Theology's Beecken Center, and Regan is currently seeking a call to a local parish.

James C. Teets

SR
Southeast Florida
School of Theology, Sewanee - Sewanee, TN

Jim Teets is a senior seminarian at the School of Theology of the University of the South, Sewanee. He hails from the Diocese of Southeast Florida. Jim, a cradle Episcopalian, is a Florida native and grew up in the western Palm Beach County agricultural area of south Florida. Prior to entering seminary, Jim spent 10 years as a teacher/Head of School of a private school and taught Physics, Chemistry, and Environmental Science as well as ACT/SAT Prep classes. Most recently, he created his own business and provided concierge accounting services to businesses and individuals in south Florida. This business provided an excellent avenue for the use of the accounting and management skills that he developed at Stetson University, where he earned a B.B.A. in 1984. Jim has been a life-long servant of the Church and, with support and encouragement from many clergy friends and members of his sending parish, he formally entered the discernment process in 2012 and was accepted at SOT in 2014. While at the School of Theology, Jim has served as the Treasurer of both St. Lukes Community and the St. Lukes Missions Committee. He also used his accounting and bookkeeping background to create Faithful Finances, a financial education program for the seminary that focuses on saving, budgeting, and debt reduction. Jim had an outstanding Field Education experience at St. Pauls Episcopal in Murfreesboro, TN and has continued to serve as the Deacon at there since his ordination to the transitional diaconate in November 2016. He has been happily married to his wife, Sharon, for 24 years and they have two grown sons, Casey and Crawford.

Christopher T. Wilkerson

SR
Upper South Carolina
School of Theology, Sewanee - Sewanee, TN

Christopher T. Wilkerson is a senior in The School of Theology at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Born in Dalton, Georgia, in the foothills of the Appalachians, Christopher graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor's degree in anthropology and from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale with a Master of Fine Arts degree in English and creative writing. Not long afterward, he found his way to South Carolina, where he taught college English for nearly 14 years before leaving that career behind to go off to seminary. A cradle Episcopalian, Christopher has, since coming to Sewanee, continued to nurture a lifelong passion for Scripture, theology, liturgy, and mystical spirituality. A guitarist and singer, Christopher writes and records original music in his (limited) spare time, hoping to release his first official album soon. He also works intermittently in fiction and poetry. Christopher has been joyously married to his wife Anne for nearly ten years; they have two girls: Emily, who is six, and Elena, who is four. The whole family is eagerly looking forward to being back in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina and beginning an exciting career in parish ministry.

Kyle Babin

SR
Washington DC
Virginia Theological Seminary - Alexandria, VA

Kyle is a third-year student at Virginia Theological Seminary. He was recently ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons at Washington National Cathedral by Bishop Mariann Budde. Prior to attending seminary, Kyle served as director of music and organist in various churches, most recently at Grace Church (Episcopal) in Alexandria, VA. It was through parish ministry as a musician that Kyle felt a call to ordained ministry. A native of Texas, Kyle earned his Bachelor of Music degree (summa cum laude) at Rice University, a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, a certificate from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, as well as a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Manhattan School of Music.

Nicholas Evancho

MIDD
Northwestern Pennsylvania
Virginia Theological Seminary - Alexandria, VA

Nicholas J. Evancho is a seminarian at Virginia Theological Seminary in the Class of 2018. He joined the Episcopal Church during college in the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania and soon after began studying for the priesthood. Nicholas graduated in 2015 from Grove City College with a B.S. in Biochemistry and was born and raised in Western New York. He is currently engaged to Ashley who lives in Cincinnati, OH.

Roberta Kraft

MIDD
Fond Du Lac
Virginia Theological Seminary - Alexandria, VA

Paul B. Moberly

SR
Vermont
Virginia Theological Seminary - Alexandria, VA

I'm deeply grateful for the financial assistance and prayerful support that SIM has offered me while in the seminary formation portion of the discernment process. One of my major insecurities when I began thinking about enrolling in seminary was the cost of a graduate degree--and I was determined to avoid additional debt as much as possible. The SIM grants I've received over the past couple of academic years have helped to fill in the gaps in funding. It's so good to know that there is an organization dedicated to supporting and helping people (like me) who are entering holy orders. I'm sponsored for ordination by the Episcopal Church in Vermont, and was blessed to celebrate my ordination to the transitional diaconate this year on the Feast of the Epiphany. I grew up in Minnesota, and have lived in both the Chicagoland area and San Francisco (prior to moving to Vermont in 2010.) Before coming to seminary, I worked in university admissions. I serve as a seminarian assistant at St. Paul's Parish (K Street) in Washington, DC, and I've come to cherish the ministry I've been able to do there over the past couple of years. My fiance, Gerardo, and I plan to be married there in April. We are looking forward to beginning a new chapter of life together--somewhere--and we're excited to find out what God has in store next.

William L. Packard

SR
Virginia
Virginia Theological Seminary - Alexandria, VA

Erin N. Rath

SR
South Dakota
Virginia Theological Seminary - Alexandria, VA

Erin Rath is originally from Sioux Falls, in the Diocese of South Dakota. She grew up agnostic and was received into the Episcopal Church fifteen years ago. In ministry contexts, she is passionate about building relationships and sharing stories as well as learning and teaching. She has had a number of adventures since beginning seminary in the summer of 2014, including: two cross-country camping trips; a pilgrimage to Israel; a summer internship at Trinity, Wall Street in New York City; and a seminary-sponsored immersion to Myanmar.

Matthew W. Rhodes

SR
Virginia
Virginia Theological Seminary - Alexandria, VA

Matt Rhodes is a senior in the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria and a Candidate for Holy Orders through the Diocese of Virginia. Prior to his entrance into seminary, he spent nearly two decades working in political, corporate and trade association communications. Matt received his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of South Alabama in Mobile. He and his wife Amy are the proud parents of two daughters and reside in Northern Virginia.

Alissa G. Anderson

SR
Indianapolis
General Theological Seminary - New York, NY

Alexander D. Barton

SR
Ohio
General Theological Seminary - New York, NY

Michael J. Horvath

SR
New York
Cunningham Scholar
General Theological Seminary - New York, NY

Curtis A. Kennington

SR
Central Gulf Coast
General Theological Seminary - New York, NY

The Rev. Curtis A. Kennington is in his final year at The General Theological Seminary, completing an Master of Divinity, and in the ordination process. He is married to Sellers, and they have two boys, Grayton (8) and Henry (6). Before moving to New York, they lived in Fairhope, Alabama and are canonical residents of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast. Curtis is a graduate of the University of West Florida with a B.A. in Experiential Education. He was ordained a Transitional Deacon on December 3, 2016. He served the Episcopal Church as a youth minister, musician and as the Director of Camp Beckwith, his Diocesan Camp and Conference Center.

Deborah A. Lee

SR
New York
General Theological Seminary - New York, NY

I am a third-year seminarian pursuing her Master of Divinity degree at The General Theological Seminary, and was formerly Program Manager for Pastoral Care and Community at Trinity Church Wall Street. God willing, I will be ordained to the diaconate in March of 2017, and to the priesthood in September 2017. It has been said that the call of God is sometimes difficult to hear, and once discerned, the call of God is difficult to avoid. When I was younger, wanting to become a priest in the Episcopal Church was not on my "what I want to do when I grow up" list. Nevertheless, the question, "Why do you want to become a priest?" although valid, also baffled me. It didn't seem to be quite the right question to ask. Rather, the song title "How Long Has This Been Going On?" To me the question was, How long have you felt the insistent tugging, the pull towards this path? How long has God been growing prayers in your heart for this purpose? How long have you realized that your path keeps doubling back to this desire? How long had you felt the call before you finally relented - said, yes! -and felt wholeness and peace when you did, even though there was trepidation and doubt? How long before you acknowledged God's quiet work within your soul towards this purpose? How long has this been going on? For me, the answer now seems to be that I have never known anything different. Desire for this path has taken its rightful place and has settled within. SIM has been a essential spiritual and financial partner on this path as I have journeyed through seminary. I have been constantly reminded of God's faithfulness by the faithfulness of SIM to the many seminarians walking the path of God's unique calling to ministry for each person. I am grateful and appreciative of SIM being an instrument of God's peace in raising up shepherds as leaders in the church. Thank you so very much!

Pedro Lara

SR
Dallas
Nashotah House - Nashotah, WI

In the fall of 2014, my wife Gloria, daughter Leah and I packed our belongings and made our way from Dallas to Nashotah House Theological Seminary. Before coming to seminary, I had recently finished my undergraduate work in the University of North Texas and ran a remodeling business in Dallas. My call to ordained ministry came after I became deeply involved helping my dad (Fr. Lino) and mom (Deacon Juana) plant the first Hispanic church plant in the Diocese of Dallas, San Francisco de Asis Episcopal Church. During my time there I began the youth group and began a after school youth boxing program for the community. After church leaders pointed out to me my gifts of leading and teaching and after much discernment I felt that Christ was indeed calling me to the priesthood. I am now in my third and last year and I look forward to brining my gifts into the work of the Church to be witnesses of Jesus Christ to the world. I am thankful for the support and help of SIM during my studies and I hope I can return the support in the near future.

Elizabeth Farr

SR
East Tennessee
Lookout Mountain - Tennessee

Elizabeth Farr is a Candidate for Holy Orders from the Diocese of East Tennessee and a current Middler Seminarian at the School of Theology at The University of the South. A cradle Episcopalian, Elizabeth is a 2007 graduate of the University of the South College of Arts and Sciences. In her vocational life before seminary, Elizabeth served as the Youth Director at Bruton Parish, Williamsburg, Virginia, and, most recently, Good Shepherd, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. Elizabeth is married to Matthew Farr, a Senior Seminarian at the School of Theology and recently ordained transitional deacon, and Elizabeth and Matthew have a two-year-old son, Rohen.