Our mission at The Seattle School is to serve God and neighbor through transforming relationships. We are a learning community centered at the intersection of two disciplines: the study of God (theology) and the study of human mind and behavior (psychology). And foundational to each of these disciplines is practicing presence and curiosity. Each of us comes with unique gifts, passions and stories. And as we engage in this learning community with one another, we explore, practice, and grow together both inside and outside of the classroom.

Throughout our first 25 years of learning together, faculty, staff, and students at The Seattle School have meditated on this question: What will we create together? Profound creativity happens as we encounter one another and allow one another’s gifts to open us more deeply to who we can become together and to how God is moving among us. During your time as a student at The Seattle School, as you become more fully you in your learning, we will become more fully us as a learning community.

Student Leadership at The Seattle School is a playground in which students have the opportunity to explore and to create together. Student Leadership has taken on many shapes over the past 25 years. The group began as a single realm called Student Council that sought to partner with staff and faculty in stewarding a learning environment defined by academic excellence, intercultural credibility, and embodying our learning in our relationships. A second realm called Sacred Space was born as students explored spiritual rhythms and practices together, stewarding space for members of The Seattle School community to rest, wrestle, and play in relationship with God, ourselves, and one another. A third realm, Anamchara, was formed around the Gaelic concept of “soul friend;” this realm has done everything from cultivating 1:1 connections for students to hosting Welcome (Back) BBQs, neighborhood dinners, game nights, and other activities that have invited students and our families to connect and create a shared sense of belonging with one another. And finally, Mosaic has been a fourth realm cultivated by spouses/partners of students for partners/spouses and our families. Membership and the activities of these realms have ebbed and flowed over the years, and have been shaped by the particular passions and gifts of the realm members in each season. This fall, Student Leadership consists of one team, embodying the aspects of the four realms in one.

Student Leadership meets weekly to collaborate in planning events and opportunities for the student body throughout the year. Participation in student leadership is based on a commitment of one year (or more if desired!). We welcome new members in December of each year. We would be delighted for YOU to join! You can learn more about student leadership here on the student life page of the website or by talking to me, Becca Shirley (rshirley@theseattleschool.edu).

It is my great pleasure to introduce our current Student Leadership team, including the two Student Facilitators, below:

Brittney Gowen, Facilitator (she/her) | anamchara@theseattleschool.edu

Greetings! I am a second-year low-res MACP student living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In my undergraduate life, I studied English Literature, striving to take as many unique classes as I could that would still manage to fulfill my educational requirements. (Feel free to ask me how monsters are manifestations of our cultural anxieties or how Akhenaten was not like other Pharaohs!) When I can find the time, I love reading, watching movies, playing games, and doing crafty things like embroidering. In the Zoom-room, you may also come to know that I have two extremely fluffy cats, Hobbes & Rosie, who really enjoy “attending” class with me.

Though my heart is in Appalachia, I love to visit the Pacific Northwest and very much enjoy being in town for Residency so I can take in the fresh air, enjoy the abundance of high-quality coffee & cuisines, and, most of all, better connect with my TSS community! I look forward to serving as a Student Leadership Facilitator and helping to create a sense of community & belonging for all students, whether you are local to Seattle or from a distant land. If you have any ideas for ways to better foster connection, let’s talk!

April Little, Facilitator (she/her) | sacredspace@theseattleschool.edu

I am a second-year MATC student in the Community Development track. I have a passion for creating spaces of spiritual exploration where all questions and stories are welcomed and heard. I host a podcast (Reclaiming the Garden) where I get to do just that, highlighting the faith journeys of LGBTQ+ and/or deconstructing Christians. I attend First UMC in downtown Seattle where I serve in the choir and youth Sunday School, and am also active in the queer Christian community online. In addition to being a big theology nerd, I love getting hot chocolate at Chocolati Cafe (or pastries at La Parisienne) with friends, and laughing about silly reality TV shows. As a Student Leadership Facilitator this year, I hope to invite folks to experience the goodness of the Divine through play, art, liturgy, connection with others, and good food.

And the team:

Becky Alcantar – 2nd-year MACP-LR, lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Coburn Childs – 3rd-year MACP-LR, lives in Seattle, Washington

Sarah High – 2nd-year MACP-LR, lives in Lynchburg, Virginia

Michelle Peiker – 2nd-year MACP-OC, lives in Seattle, Washington

Katie Standish – 3rd-year MACP-LR, lives in Beaverton, Oregon

Cynthia Webb – 2nd-year MACP-LR, lives in Trabuco Canyon, California

We are eager to meet you and are planning some fun opportunities for you to meet one another during Community Week and Fall Residency September 13-16! See the event page for more info.