I wanted to live a faith-filled life, a Spirit-filled life.
We need pastors, but I’m not called to be a pastor. I’m called to diaconal ministry. I’m excited to see where the church is going and how it will use my gifts.
Student Profile: Christine Doidge
“The choose your own adventure” ministry route is how Christine Doidge refers to her call to diaconal ministry.
Trained as a commercial interior designer, Doidge’s involvement at St. James Lutheran Church in Portland. Ore., changed the way she thought about her lifestyle. “I wanted to live a faith-filled life, a Spirit-filled life,” she says.
After searching for a graduate school or global opportunity that joined faith with work, she found the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program. “The language YAGM used really resonated with me. I knew the fact that it was a year-long program would make me get serious about my idea to put together my faith and my work.”
Doidge’s year in South Africa transformed her life. “It was a phenomenal experience! I found a new perspective on what the church looks like and truly experienced the diakonia concept and connected that to diaconal ministry.”
When she returned to Portland, Doidge, again, sought ways to live out her faith through her work. An anonymous gift was given to St. James to hire Doidge as Outreach Minister for a year.
“For years St. James had talked about reaching out to Portland State University, but we had never worked to intentionally define our relationship with the campus ministry there.” That became one of her projects. In March 2012, the campus ministry board hired her to shepherd the process of working with local congregations. Doidge found it a good trial run at diaconal work.
Her experiences in South Africa and with St. James led her to LSTC. “I wanted to learn more about my faith and to articulate how the religious side [of what I do] plays into the practical side of things. Diaconal ministry has that.”
Doidge says, “We need pastors, but I’m not called to be a pastor. I’m called to diaconal ministry. I’m excited to see where the church is going and how it will use my gifts.”
She received a partial-tuition LSTC grant.