Teacher, Farmer, Sea Captain: New Starr King Class is Young, Diverse

snapshot_bannersnapshot-080918-masterSome of the new faces from Starr King’sincoming class

The incoming Starr King class of 32 students is the largest and one of the youngest in our school’s history. Ranging in age from 22 to 61, many students are in their twenties and four are young parents of pre-school-aged children. T.J. Kahn, a first-year Master of Divinity student from Boca Raton, Fla., is thrilled by the diversity, and by the faculty. “Arriving at Starr King is like stumbling into a room, and you suddenly feel like you’re among spiritual titans – and you are treated the same way,” T.J. said. “It’s instant self-worth.”

The class stands out for its international experience. One student, originally from India, was a college professor in Tonota, Botswana, and another comes from Thailand, where he taught at Thammasat University in Bangkok. Three students join us from the congregation of First Unitarian Church of Portland, where Starr King’s Board Chair Rev. Thomas Disrud serves as Associate Minister. Work experience encompasses sustainable farming in the central valley of California, captaining a sea boat off the coast of Florida, and directing Lifespan Religious Education at a congregation in Nevada. While the majority of students identify as Unitarian Universalist, the new class includes students who are Buddhist, Hindu, Sufi Muslim, Episcopalian and Disciples of Christ. In this first year of our new educational model, we have four students in low residency as distance learners.

Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker delivered the convocation sermon, titled “Radical Hospitality”. You can read President Parker’s sermon by clicking here.


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