The Impact of Black History on Calling and Formation: Student Reflections - Gordon Conwell

The Impact of Black History on Calling and Formation: Student Reflections

As Gordon-Conwell reflects back on Black History Month, we wanted to pose a contemplative question to a few of our students: how has Black history shaped your calling and formation? We recognize in our community that history is very important for many reasons. One reason to appreciate its importance is because history—the stories, people, and events of the past—speaks into our sense of identity as ministers of the gospel today. Below are several responses that may help spark your own reflection on how Black history has shaped you.

“One of the things that I think about is Revelation 7:9, in that God is calling his diverse church of different people, of different languages, of different cultures, of different nations. Sometimes history is not always the best, but it is filled with sprinkles of hope where we can see God’s hand as he is guided Black people through slavery, segregation, and oppression. It is also a reminder of the beauty and contributions made despite difficult circumstances. The purpose of Jesus’s mission on earth is to save us not only spiritually, but to save the human system so that it can reflect who God is. That is how Black history has encouraged my spiritual formation and ministry call.”
Avram L Davis (MDiv Student—Charlotte)


“As a White woman, God has used Black history, specifically the witness of the global Black Church, to rescue my faith from atrophying in the heresy of ethnocentrism. Because of my Black sisters and brothers—presently and historically—I know Jesus more fully and accurately through their perspective. The Black faith community’s perseverance and resilience challenge me to live out my obedience to Jesus through advocating for the dignity of marginalized image-bearers in whatever ministry context I serve. I am committed to continually learning from Black voices as part of my life-long discipleship journey, which is essential for a healthy faith in our global God.”
Katelyn Hannan (MAR Student—Hamilton)


“As an African American female, Black history is not a tool or a subject matter that is a part of my calling or ministry formation, it is me. It is my lived experience, a culmination of my ancestry and present-day reality. Black history is a celebration of God’s sovereignty within mine and human history!”
Monae Cooper (MDiv Student—Hamilton)


“Coming to learn Black history as an international student has been a humbling journey. Humbling in the sense it reminds me of how complex, excruciating, and, yet, important history is. To remember and to retell the stories of the Black Church is a sacred and necessary ritual for us all. Through their memories, my heart has been broken. Through their stories, my heart has been open wide. Through their songs, my heart has received much love, pain, and everything in between. Yet, through their healing, my heart has become hopeful for today and continues to hope for a better tomorrow.”
Grace Eun Sun Lee (MDiv Student—Hamilton)