“There are so many students from across the world in my classes at Drew that I never would have met otherwise”
April 2023 – Drew Theological School offers courses scheduled in varying, flexible formats that are committed to learning in community at a global level.
With in-person, synchronous, asynchronous, and blended learning options, the student-centered program allows students to earn a Theological School degree beyond geographic boundaries.
Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry (MATM) student Catey Miller T’24 is earning her Drew degree online and part-time from her home in North Carolina, allowing her to continue to work full-time and remain active in her church.
Through Drew, Miller also has an online internship with United Women in Faith. “They’ve been super flexible, and it’s been a really good experience,” she said.
We sat down with Miller to learn more about her online educational experience and her decision to come to Drew.
What were the deciding factors that led you to pursue an online degree from Drew Theological School?
After attending the All United Methodist Theological Schools Fall Virtual Recruiting Fair in 2021, I was really drawn to many things about Drew. It was the only school whose presentation specifically said they were LGBTQIA affirming and fully inclusive and that’s really important to me in my theology.
I applied to four schools. I live very close to Duke University, but Drew had the MATM program and offered the flexibility of being able to go fully remote, which is good for me right now. I’m also working full-time and very involved in my church.
There’s a lot happening and Drew has been so great. I’m working really slowly, about six credits each semester, which has worked really well for me.
Why did you choose the MATM program?
I wanted to do something outside of the Master of Divinity. I want to pursue theological education and a career in ministry, but I knew I didn’t want to go through the full ordination and pastoral route. The MATM offering is the program that struck me as the best fit. I’m really excited that the program is offered at Drew.
Talk to us about your internship.
During my Spirituality, Identity, & Vocation class, Associate Dean Tanya Linn Bennett was so attentive to all of us. During my internship interview, I expected Dean Tanya to suggest placing me at my current church. Instead, she said “wouldn’t you like to try other things?”
She put me in touch with United Women in Faith since she understood my interests. I’m working with Oliva DiAgostino T’19 and the Mission u team, which writes curricula for the Mission u conferences and is heavily involved in transformative religious education. I knew of United Women in Faith before my internship, but I didn’t know everything that they do.
I’m so impressed by the internship placement process. Dean Tanya was right, it’s been so great. I’ve gotten to do so many cool things that I would not have had the opportunity to get involved with otherwise.
Are there challenges to earning your degree fully online?
The online community is very natural to me [as a millennial] and I don’t inherently struggle with it. But sometimes you can’t help feeling a little bit disconnected. I know that part of the experience at Drew is The Forest and I’ve never been. But to counter that, I never would have been able to take a class with Catherine Keller [George T. Cobb Professor of Constructive Theology] or Stephen Moore [Edmund S. Janes Professor of New Testament Studies] otherwise. The access and flexibility makes up for it. The benefits far, far outweigh the negatives
There are so many students from across the world in my classes at Drew that I never would have met otherwise.