Ahnna Lise Stevens-Jennings’ call became clear when she was 15 years old. With the guidance of Pastor Jean McDonald-Walker (M.Div. 1996), Stevens-Jennings went on a life-changing Chrysalis retreat weekend. She says “This was the first experience where I understood God loved me. I want everyone else to understand that love too.”
A third-year Master of Divinity student, Stevens-Jennings has discerned God’s call to serve the church from what she learned in her leadership classes at Wesley. In particular, it’s in the small church where she feels called to serve as a local licensed pastor for the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church.
“I really love to do small church work,” Stevens-Jennings says. “I want to care for a few small churches after graduation. What I’ve seen at Wesley has been how much really good work can come out of small churches.”
This call also grows out of the example she saw in a mentor, the Rev. Dr. David St. Clair, a Wesley alumnus. “I am inspired by the way he cared about people and his leadership in the church.”
Stevens-Jennings and her fellow students are well aware of the community’s support of their education and future ministries. “We are extremely grateful for what you [Wesley’s donors] do for us, because we wouldn’t be here without your support. We highly value the opportunity to learn and to live out our calls here,” she says.