The Paths You Choose Are Up to You!


By Doug McCusker, Class of 2014

I am in the last year of my Masters of Divinity studies at Meadville Lombard Theological School. When I started I had no idea of all the exciting avenues and paths that my thirst for knowledge would take me. I have always been a history buff so after my first church history class, I immediately latched on to the rich history resources in Meadville’s archives. Not only was I able to dig deep in Judeo-Christian history, but I have found a real connection with Unitarian Universalist history. This year, I joined the UU History and Heritage Society and delivered my first paper at the annual conference. I’ve also intertwined many stories from our tradition’s rich history into sermons and religious education classes.


I also have been able to explore my Latino/Hispanic heritage through several classes and internship experiences focused on multi-cultural engagement in our increasingly pluralistic society. The faculty helped me create a tailored immersion experience in which I took the concepts from the classroom and church setting out into the community. I led a mission trip of youth to El Salvador where we helped build an elementary school that was bombed during their civil war. It was an amazing experience that has deepened not only my own identity exploration but also my ministerial formation.


Meadville Lombard Theological School offered me an academic and experiential foundation in which to grow into my ministerial self. The rest has been up to me, and I have tried to take full ownership of this wonderful opportunity that comes once in a life-time. I’ve had classes in the mountains of California, at other seminaries and of course at the Meadville Lombard campus in downtown Chicago. But just as importantly, I’ve been able to apply my faith and ministerial calling at a homeless shelter, prison, hospital and teaching congregation; all while I was in seminary.  The journey has been amazing!


A Message From Denny Davidoff:

Denny_CropHere in the Development and Communications office at Meadville Lombard, one of our holiday season rituals is called The EOYA. This unpronounceable acronym stands for End Of Year Appeal and on our work calendar it’s a very big deal. It is, in short, the campaign we mount by mail and e-mail and blog and Twitter to ask all of our donor friends to celebrate the new year (and to reap income tax benefits) by contributing whatever they can afford to keep our operating budget thriving and our student financial aid coffers plentiful.

Raising money for Meadville Lombard is hard work and it is also joyous work. I believe in our mission, admire our faculty, revel in our diverse and wizard smart student body. My deep commitment to Unitarian Universalism congregations and allied institutions is fulfilled as I witness the education and formation of new ministers and new theologically-savvy lay leaders who graduate year after year ready to guide, to preach, to lead, to rally and invigorate — to do what it takes to keep our faith relevant and effective out in a suffering and unjust world.

Please pay attention. Look for a newsletter message from me and a letter from President Lee Barker. Make room in you heart and in your checkbook for a generous contribution to keep Meadville Lombard growing stronger. I love saying our school is “Unapologetically Progressive” and I further testify that our school is worthy of your support.

Make an online gift today.

Blessings for the holidays and for your New Year. Come visit us in 2014!