Emory & Henry College junior Rachel Witt of Kingsport, Tenn., grew up in the church. Her mom is a church music director, and her dad and older brother have always been active in the church. For Witt the church was a second home, and now it’s become her chosen profession.
This call to serve God was given a financial boost with the recent announcement that Witt has been chosen as a 2012 Fund for Theological Education Undergraduate Fellow.
Witt is believed to be the first E&H student to receive this award and was chosen in part because of her demonstrated gifts and interest in exploring a career in ministry. Currently Witt serves as president of Kerygma, a group of students seeking to discern God's call in their lives.
Undergraduate Fellows are awarded a stipend of $2,000 to apply towards education-related expenses. Witt will attend a conference June 19-13 in Nashville, where she will have the opportunity to connect with nearly 150 other fellows from across the nation.
“Honestly, I was extremely surprised they would pick me,” Witt said. “My calling to work for God is the one thing in my life I can always count on.”
Witt, a Religion major, is planning to attend seminary after graduation in May 2013, with hopes of eventually being an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.
The Fund for Theological Education (FTE) was established in 1954 by leading educators, clergy and philanthropists with the aim of cultivating a new generation of leaders to serve the Christian church and world.
To be considered for an undergraduate fellowship, students must be a current sophomore or junior with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. A student must be nominated for the award by a faculty member, administrator or campus minister.
“I feel that this calling to be a pastor gives me the opportunity to love people for God, and for me that is an unfathomable blessing,” Witt said.
Witt is a member of the Higher Ground Co-Ed Bible Study at the college. She also is plays the French horn in the brass quintet, brass ensemble and horn ensemble.