Courtney Stamey felt a call to ministry when she was a teenager, which prompted her to study religion at Gardner-Webb University. As her undergraduate career there came to a close, she thought Divinity School was the next step in the pursuit of her call. “What I did not expect were the ways in which I was challenged to become a fuller, more loving minister as I developed my individual call.”
Q: Who have been your biggest cheerleaders?
A: I have felt very supported by my advisor, Tom Frank. He always managed to recommend classes that helped me flourish and pushed my growing edges. When he was around, I always knew that someone had my back and believed in me.
Q: What surprised you about your time at Wake Forest?
A: I felt at home at a church again. While in Divinity School, I became a member at First Baptist Church of High Point and was ordained to ministry there. I thought having my critical theological lenses on at Divinity School would deter my desire to go to church, but in many ways it increased my desire to find a place that would love and accept me even with those lenses on.
Q: Describe your internship experience.
A: I completed two internships. My first was at the Gateway YWCA. While there, I developed a children’s curriculum that taught life skills through athletic activities. Eventually, I developed it into an after school program, a ten-week summer camp, and an in-school program at a Forsyth County elementary school.
During my third year, I completed a Clinical Pastoral Education unit at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. After my experience there, I have decided to make Chaplaincy residency the next step in my career.
What I appreciated most about both internships was the supervisory sessions, the ability to make mistakes, and the challenge to be my full and unique self in both spaces.
Q: Tell us about your volunteer experience.
A: The volunteer work that I did was primarily with the youth and children at my church. The most rewarding interactions have been with the middle school Sunday School class I teach. They are willing to ask the tough questions, without doing so to try and impress anyone. I am always amazed by what they teach me.
Q: What is your favorite memory of your time at Wake Forest?
A: Our women’s flag football team, “The monstrous regiment of women,” (named after a book from Scottish reformer John Knox) got to play on BB&T field my first year. We did not win, but our fans cheered us as loudly as they could, including several professors. What I remember most are the lasting relationships that I formed on that team, and what a privilege it was to take the field with those women.
Q: What does earning this degree mean to you?
A: It is a public statement that I feel called by God and into the ministry. It is a statement that I feel so called that I was willing to invest three years to better prepare myself to live out that calling and serve people to the best of my abilities.