The Rev. Susan Minasian, College chaplain, has been the director of admissions at the Lancaster Theological Seminary and pastor at several churches. Along the way, she has discovered that “it is my calling to remind people of their inherent worth and value.” Minasian has a master of divinity degree from the seminary, where she is in the doctor of ministry program.
How did you come to Lancaster?
In 1985, I moved here to attend the seminary. I came because two family friends were graduates, and it was associated with the United Church of Christ. I wanted a place not far from my home in Richmond, Virginia.
How did you come to F&M?
What’s funny is that back in 1985 I said I wasn’t sure I wanted to do parish ministry. I told people, “I think I’d like to be the chaplain at a place like F&M.” I began as a visiting chaplain, and then the position evolved each year into what I do today. I discerned that I did not want to be in the parish any more and the way opened up for me to be at F&M in a more intentional way.
How do you see your role?
In the parish I needed to encourage people to take on leadership roles in order to make some things happen. Here my role is oftentimes to help people slow down and even stop so they can really engage in what it means to be a human being. One thing I am clear about is that I’m not here so the College looks good. I’m here to provide people with opportunities to have meaningful spiritual experiences.
What has been the biggest challenge?
The shift from being the only pastor to a community of many people who help each other collectively is powerful. I’m not the only one whom people can turn to. It’s a challenge to realize how dispensable one can be, and at the same time it’s the greatest spiritual lesson I have learned. So the challenge has been a blessing.
Why do you enjoy your job?
The beauty of being here is being in a multi-faith context, from people who would consider themselves atheists and agnostics to the most practicing person of faith. They are here. It’s a microcosm of the world.
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