Graduate Couple Gives Back
Rev. Megan and Rev. Joel Walther, United Methodist pastors, Michigan Conference
"In seminary we built unique relationships that could have happened only at Wesley. For example, we became very good friends with a couple from Hungary who came to D.C. because of a long-standing Hungarian scholarship available at Wesley. We also loved living in D.C., a seminary experience you can only get at Wesley.
As 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because God first loved us.” Our giving to Wesley is very much a case of, “we give because we first were given.” We give because we have received so much from Wesley, not only in scholarship money, but in rich theological education, dynamic worship opportunities, spiritually formative moments, and lasting relationships. We also give because we have hope in the future of the Church. We want to see people equipped to be the leaders our church needs. Lastly, we give because we can.
Many people leave school with debt and go into ministry, which is not always the highest paying profession. We are lucky enough to have only a little student debt. Since we have the resources to give, we give. We are aware that we are privileged, lucky, and blessed to be in this financial position. In many ways, Wesley gave us our lives – each other, our love, many of our friends, and the skills and training we use in living out the call that we felt from God. So, in that way, we give to Wesley because it truly was a unique experience and life-changing time for us."
Retired Clergy Supports Alma Mater
Rev. Dr. Gaye Smith, retired United Methodist clergy, and Mr. Ted Smith
"My experience at Wesley was positive in every way. My call to pastoral ministry was nurtured there. One of Wesley's richest assets is its location in the nation's capital, giving students the opportunity to listen and inquire about ways to support significant change. That has been a value I have only built on and continue to this day.
Since I attended Wesley in the late 1970s for my Master of Divinity and returned in the early 1990s for my Doctor of Ministry, I witnessed tremendous growth in outreach and representation of different cultures among the faculty. Little has been forgotten, even as I age, from my years at Wesley. My husband Ted and I were motivated to set up a trust for Wesley through a visit by Doug Cooney and Richard Bailey, fellow graduates and longtime Wesley supporters. Because we were frequently on the Wesley campus, Ted knew the kindness that embraced him as well as me. We set up the trust, funding it each year as assets ebb and flow.
We are strong advocates of Wesley, though we live in Duke country in North Carolina. But when given a chance, we broadcast the benefits Wesley offers. We are enthusiastic about the new initiative of bringing pastors from China for interaction with church and seminary experience in the United States and hope additional pastors will be able to follow soon. Wesley is always exploring new initiatives for outreach, locally and globally, which is something we’re proud to support."
Ready to Give?
Join these alumni and alumnae who have given a gift to prepare disciples for ministry. Questions about giving to Wesley? Contact the Development Office at 202-885-8630 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.