Help Light the Way: The Luminary Scholarship Effort
Rev. Drew Sutton: giving "opens up a sense of gratitude in my heart"
The Rev. Drew Sutton views giving financially as a means of staying connected to the Wesley community, even as he lives states away from campus. Sutton graduated in 2011 with a Master of Divinity and was heavily involved in worship leadership for three years while at Wesley. He went on to lead the Wesley Foundation at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge for four years before becoming the sole pastor of First United Methodist Church in downtown Lafayette.
Knowing firsthand the importance of theological education for helping students find their voice, Sutton felt called to give back to the school that taught him so much.
“What’s significant about Wesley is it allows students to listen to what God is calling them to be,” Sutton said. “That support helps students find their voice, whether those experiences primarily come from the classroom or from practical experiences.”
Sutton recently watched a recording of this semester’s opening chapel worship in which President David McAllister-Wilson and Michel Martin, Wesley alumna and NPR journalist, engaged in a dialogue about racial reconciliation and Wesley’s role. Seeing the seminary at the forefront of preparing faith leaders to go out and effect change in a hurting world is a vision that I want to support and help cultivate so more people are able to learn and grow, Sutton said.
Wesley’s programs that integrate theological engagement and public discourse in the nation’s capital are part of what made the seminary the right choice for Sutton as a prospective student. In the current political climate, that integration is what encourages Sutton to continue supporting the school. The freedom to explore and ask questions, to engage with incredible professors at Wesley, those were essential parts of my education, Sutton said.
“There is something about giving that makes life more intentional and helps us grow in discipleship as we learn to trust God in new ways,” Sutton said. “It opens up a sense of gratitude in my heart.”