LSTC Graduate Spotlight 2023

Headshot of Taylor Joyce Walker

Taylor Joyce Walker

Master of Divinity (MDiv)

What is your favorite memory of your time at LSTC?

I would say, as a whole, every KPA class. I took as many as I could! Pentateuch was my first, and it really set the bar for what I needed my seminary education to be. KPA classes are kinda like white water rafting. Every day we came armed with questions and wonder and chaos, and every day KPA strapped us into life vests and set us off in little kayaks so we could adventure in Hebrew Scripture. His baseline expectation was that we were excited about, responsible for, and capable of, our own learning. Which, you’d think, “Obviously grad school should be like that,” but KPA didn’t even assign textbooks. He was serious about us bringing our full selves to the text and doing our own independent research. We didn’t have any assigned readings outside of scripture, just suggestions of places to investigate if we got stuck – you were empowered to chase your interests, and bring in what you found so you could share it with everyone else, like an offering. KPA really has this intoxicating love for learning; it made everything come to life.

What was the most meaningful class you took?

Definitely History I with Dr Vethanayagamony. I have referred back to my notes from that class literally dozens of times. If I had my memory wiped so I forgot everything else I ever learned in seminary, I could build it all back on the bedrock of that class.

How did you feel supported during your seminary journey?

It was rough doing seminary during the pandemic, made even more difficult by the ever-changing landscape of LSTC’s staff and campus – beloved professors moved away and the buildings we lived in were sold. What got me through it was the people. When I started I was “adopted” by a group of third-year students who invited me to potluck dinners and game nights, and the friends I made in my class were my rock as we went through CPE in Summer 2020 and did our MIC behind a zoom screen. My little seminary family kept me going and got me to where I am. Getting to do internship this year feels like resurrection.

What are your post-graduation plans?

I am in the final stages of my candidacy journey through Metro Chicago… so cross your fingers for me!

How did LSTC shape you as a future leader of the public church?

I learned most about being a future leader of the public church through my advocacy work during internship in Austin, TX. Standing on the senate floor in the Texas Capitol wearing a collar and waving a trans pride flag has been a terrifying and holy thing.

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