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Drew Theological School Welcomes the Rev. Dr. Vanessa Wilson T’18,’20

Preaching a special chapel service organized by Drew’s Woman’s Ministerial Alliance

April 2024 – Drew Theological School’s Women’s Ministerial Alliance (WoMa) welcomed the Rev. Dr. Vanessa Wilson T’18,’20 for a special chapel service in celebration of Women’s History Month.

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The Rev. Dr. Vanessa Wilson, center, flanked by members of the WoMa community.

Wilson is a two-time graduate of the Theological School and a Doctor of Medical & Health Humanities candidate from Drew’s Caspersen School of Graduate Studies. She is the leading pastor of the Church of the Good Shepherd and has served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 2013. In addition, she is the Founder and President of Sikona Inc., a nonprofit organization working towards the elimination of healthcare disparities in cancer awareness, prevention, treatment, and survivorship. 

“WoMa, thank you for your continued commitment to this community, for the strengthening of Black and brown women in the relationship we share in the body of Christ, and also in our womanhood,” said Associate Dean Tanya Linn Bennett.

Wilson’s sermon, titled “Into the Hands of a Woman,” was inspired by Judges 4:4-10 scripture, Deborah’s act of courage to protect her family from the potential dangers of a stranger. “When we hear about a hand in the Bible, it talks about creativity, power, and purpose,” she said. “God is calling us to be selfless, to protect people, the marginalized.”

“I’m here today to invite you to self examination,” said Wilson. “Look at your hand, what’s in your hand? How can you use what’s in your hand for God’s glory?”

A cancer survivor, Wilson was undergoing treatment during her time as a student in the Theological School. “I came to Drew looking for a PhD, and what came to my door was cancer,” she said. “That was the enemy that came to my door. I met the enemy because God placed me at Drew—the community of people that would carry me when I couldn’t carry myself.”

“We have work to do and God has put it in your hands,” she said. “The time is now. Know that you are in a community that loves you, supports you, and cares for you and that will empower you to do what God has called you to do.”

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