For over 90 years Women’s Council has dedicated itself to addressing the needs of seminary students. In the early years this included such practical projects as making drapes and pillow cases for the dorm rooms, and setting up a small kitchenette in the residence quarters. In 1964 the Council purchased and donated a Chickering piano in ebony finish delivered from the Steinway Company. In later decades attention focused more exclusively on the raising of scholarship funds.
Beatrice Lyons, Scholarship Chairperson
“It is my honor to connect Women’s Council members with our amazing students! As a former Women’s Council scholarship recipient, I can attest first-hand that many of these students would not be here without your prayer and financial support. As you read their bios below and get to know each one, I pray that you are encouraged by the knowledge that their callings have been deepened and strengthened as a result of your partnership.”
Aseneth May Castaneda, MACO/MDIV (2025)
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
Undergrad: Utah Valley University, B.S.; Courses in Dance/Movement Therapy at Lesley University
Bio: I am Aseneth May Castañeda, soon to be Aseneth May Castañeda Scavongelli. I am from the Salt Lake Valley in Utah. My fiancé, Daniel Scavongelli, and I met at Seven Hills Presbyterian church in Cambridge. Daniel and I will be married next year. Since high school, I have felt increasingly called to ministry through the arts and mental health. I am undertaking a journey to understand my identity as an artist in God’s kingdom. My experience of having strong, supportive mentors, disciplers, counselors, and friends has made such a difference in my life. I hope to be that difference through Christ for other artists of the faith. I am pursuing Gordon Conwell’s degree in Mental Health Counseling in order to obtain the practical tools and credentials to support the calling I believe God has put on my life. As one who wants to serve in both ministry and mental health, I am registered as a dual degree student. I am prayerfully considering a different second degree or certificate in the hope of tailoring my classes toward arts, artists, and theology. In the future, Daniel and I hope to work together to develop a Christian organization for holistic wellbeing. We desire for this holistic approach to include standard mental health services, art programs, and art therapies. We aspire to help make mental health and wellness more available to the marginalized populations through this organization. It is a humbling honor to accept the support and partnership of the Women’s Council. This offer is an incredible reminder that God provides in unexpected ways.
Ashley de Souza, Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation
Hometown: Framingham, MA
Undergrad: B.A. in English & Creative Writing, Framingham State
Bio: I was born and raised in Framingham, MA. My parents came from Brazil with the intention of a better and more stable life. This country consisting of unknowns to them became my home. Growing up in a Latino household and a predominantly Brazilian church allowed me to value my culture and be exposed to the vibrancy and spirituality that are innate in Brazil. Being a first-generation immigrant made me a hybrid in which I saw the world and God from two very distinct lenses. This ability is where my passion for writing stemmed and I majored and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English & Creative Writing from Framingham State. While on a journey to pursue an MFA in poetry, God intervened and led me to youth and young adult ministry where my focus is spiritual growth and maturity. Within a year in this work, my pastors recommended I go to seminary. I’m a Spiritual Formation major and the LSA senator for the 2019-2020 academic year. I still lead the young adult ministry in my home church. I hope my writing and ministry can become part of the revival God has begun through the youth and young adults here and in Brazil.
Danielle DeLong, Master of Arts in Theology & Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies (2022)
Hometown: Kentville, Nova Scotia
Undergrad: B.A. in English, Minor in Biblical Studies at Crandall University in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
Bio: I am a second-year MATH/MAIS student, and I grew up in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, Canada, in a vibrant Christian home. I have a Bachelor of Arts in English and minor in Biblical Studies from Crandall University in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. I hope to graduate in January 2022 and incorporate academic theological learning with missional, cross-cultural ministry to serve the local and global church.
Ron Howard, Master of Arts in Christian Studies (2022)
Hometown: Middleboro, MA
Undergrad: Bridgewater State College (Bachelor of Science in Sociology with Criminology concentration and History minor), Northeastern University (Master of Science in Criminal Justice)
Bio: I grew up in Braintree, Massachusetts and currently reside in Middleboro. I am married to Jennifer and we have a daughter, Jessica, two sons, Jason and Joshua, and a Dachshund named Hunter. I am a U.S. Army veteran and am presently employed with the U.S. Postal Service. Years ago a pastor and Gordon-Conwell alumnus told me about Gordon-Conwell. After years of thinking and praying, I felt increasingly called to attend Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and to go into full time ministry. I have loved every minute of my seminary experience. It has been both challenging and rewarding. I feel led by the Lord to serve His people. I am pursuing a Master of Arts in Christian Studies degree at Gordon-Conwell and hope to be a pastor after graduating.
Jared Larson, Master of Divinity (2022)
Hometown: Mesa, AZ
Undergrad: Diploma in Urban Ministry, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Bio: I am currently in the M.Div. program at Gordon-Conwell with a plan to graduate in 2022. I consider my hometown Mesa, AZ, but have lived the majority of my life in Utah. I met my wife Lisa in Utah, and in 1998 we were married. God has blessed us with four beautiful children.
My goals are to continue with my education and eventually move into a Ph.D. program focused on theology and culture. I have a deep desire for both storytelling and writing on theological topics. Preaching is also a growing passion that has begun to take root while in seminary.
Our family loves the arts, and we have a passion for travel whenever we are able, if even down the unbeaten paths of Boston, or the road less taken through the neighborhoods of New Orleans. We praise God for the love He has given us for people, and how we can meet them where they are with the gospel of Jesus Christ that has so radically transformed us into new creatures of our risen Lord.
Rachel Lohia, Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies (2025)
Hometown: Richmond, VT
Undergrad: Bachelor’s in Music Education, Gordon College
Bio: I am blessed to have grown up in a Pastor’s family just outside of Burlington, Vermont. The Lord blessed me with musical abilities and from a young age I loved instruments and foreign languages as both came easily to me. When asked in fifth grade what I wanted to be when I grew up, I responded, “a mommy!” Since that didn’t satisfy my teacher, I settled on a music teacher because I wanted to learn how to play all the instruments. I pursued music passionately, became a music teacher and was even able to start my own music program in Lawrence, MA. After a short-term mission trip to North India to teach music for a summer, I felt called to live in India full-time as a music teacher. I moved there the summer of 2012, a 20-something single gal excited for this new adventure the Lord was taking me on. In December 2014, I married Livingstone, a friend who had acted as a liaison on several tourist trips. We were blessed with Josiah in 2015 and Jasmine in 2016. I continued to teach until the end of the academic year (March 2017) and then we moved back to the US, landing in Vermont. I began studying in 2019 through the Part-time Partnership Program, one to two classes per semester. My hope has been to learn more about how to study and teach the Bible, as well as learn about world religions so that we might be better neighbors when we encounter others from different backgrounds. I hope to be able to disciple and teach others both here in America and back in India, if and when then Lord leads us back there.
Anthony Rando, Master of Divinity/Master of Arts in Counseling (2023)
Hometown: Miller Place, NY
Undergrad: Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics
Bio: Originally, I am from Long Island, New York, but lived in North Carolina for 8 years prior to coming to seminary. It was there that I became a Christian and started my journey walking with Christ.
While living in North Carolina, I was involved with a neighborhood children’s ministry and felt a strong urge to attend seminary. I became involved with Youth with a Mission and participated in counseling school in Recife, Brazil. We then went to Italy and Portugal with a missionary team to provide lay ministry counseling services. This ministry awakened in me a passion for counseling and the social sciences. I hope that through the MDIV/MACO I will be able to disciple others to follow the Lord both in the United States and internationally.