I am thrilled to welcome you beautiful 2022 Seattle School graduates to this side of graduation and your very first alumni newsletter – what we call Continuing Conversations. As indicated in what follows, you join hundreds of other Seattle School alumni doing amazing work in the world as they seek to love God and neighbor in their contexts. Beyond what they “do” in the world, I know our alumni to be a wild, fierce, and kind people, eager to support you as you embark on this next chapter of your vocation. The Office of Students & Alumni is eager to help you continue making connections with our alumni network as would be helpful.
To all of you – our Western Seminary-Seattle, MHGS, Seattle School alumni – these past several years have been uniquely painful. . . and specifically for those of us who have cared for so many in churches, agencies, private practices, nonprofits, and community conversations spaces. We recognize the cost of your calling is high and the outpouring of your lives is great. Along the way, we pray you are finding sustenance, connection, and an ever-growing sense of your belovedness.
We are grateful for you. You are beloved to us.
A Tribute to Melissa Medley MACP ’07 by Christy Broyles MACP ’09
On April 7, 2022, we lost our loving and caring friend Melissa Medley MACP ’07 at the age of 54. If you were around The Seattle School (at that time MHGS) from 2004-2006, you knew Melissa and she knew you. She was often seen with her “twin” Melissa Maudsley, who we also lost a few years ago, or any number of others in conversation that always included laughter. And if you knew Melissa, you knew her laughter, her care, and her heart.
Melissa leaves a legacy with those who attended school with her including her friends near and far who were more than friends– they were family–and with her family in Virginia. Her legacy is loving loud, loving with laughter, and loving with all of her being. She is truly missed.
Celebrating and Sending Roy Barsness
On June 8th we said goodbye to our beloved mentor, teacher, friend, and colleague Dr. Roy Barsness. We sent him as he transitioned out of his 19-year tenure as Professor of Counseling Psychology here and into an incredible new chapter and unfurling of his work inspired by his ongoing research and in gratitude to his interpersonal walk and connectivity with our community and alumni like yourselves. Students, alumni, and community members gathered together for his last lecture, and a copy of Buber’s I and Thou with words of blessing and love were included. Video of the event can be found here.
Roy’s new endeavor, inspired by his tenure as a counseling educator and also by our alumni, is the Contemporary Psychodynamic Institute. It is a vibrant learning community for therapists seeking to deepen their embodied practice of psychodynamic psychotherapy.
Roy is the founder of this institute and the board will be comprised of several Seattle School alumni, including Jeremy Dew, Bryan Nixon, Clarissa Hill, Jessica Miller, Jamie Fenimore, and Chris Roberts. Please join us in celebration and prayer for their work together.
Dr. Kristie Williams MACP ’05 is full-time faculty at Walden University in the Clinical Mental Health Department as well as in an affiliate at Northwest Family Life Learning and Counseling Center. In this reflection, Kristie describes how her personal experience and her time at The Seattle School helped guide her outside-the-box journey into a career focused on social justice. She shares her advice on how to know when to take the leap and explore new paths for personal and vocational growth.
Since graduating, Christina Kemp MACP ‘17 has worked as a realtor and an Adjunct Professor at Seattle University in their Department of Psychology. In 2019, she moved from Seattle to Bainbridge Island where she completed her first book. She is currently part of the Dance Faculty at Bainbridge Dance Center, has a small private practice, and in the last year her writing has been featured in various publications. Recently Christina shared with Jocelyn a little about her new book, her process, and her powerful formation through learning at The Seattle School.
Cassie Carroll MDiv ‘16 was ordained on June 18th at Hillside Campfire, among redwood trees that had watched her grow throughout her life, into a leader and pastor. This month she starts as the head pastor at Palisades Presbyterian Church in San Diego. God’s faithfulness has been evident in many ways throughout this entire process, and Cassie is grateful for all the support of family and friends along the way.
On June 30th, Hillary B. Kimsey MDiv ‘17 celebrated the second anniversary of her ordination at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Ballard. The congregation celebrated the past two years Hillary had served as their curate, and she could preach and preside a final time. At the end of the service, to mark an ordination tradition she’d not been able to enjoy in 2020, three priests, retired and active, came forward to lay hands on her in blessing, and then they knelt so she could offer them a blessing in return. Now that Hillary’s curacy at St. Luke’s has ended she’ll be focusing on her hospital chaplaincy full time at Swedish Health Services in Seattle, and also serving as a supply priest at local churches.
Join us in celebrating and blessing Hillary and Cassie!
Resources & Opportunities for Alumni
Course Development for New Online Platform
The Seattle School is expanding learning offerings on a new online platform beyond the doors of the red brick building, and in that effort, we are seeking like-minded folks to work with. Our desire is to increasingly offer relevant, robust, and relational learning opportunities in online, accessible formats that are low-barrier. We have developed a process and platform to launch these new, non-degree courses and would love for you to join us either as a leader in developing these offerings or as a participant. Please keep an eye out for an email with more details on how to participate!
Clergy Burnout Report
Did you know that 90% of pastors feel inadequately trained to cope with ministry demands? And that 30% of pastors are at risk of burnout? Church leadership has never been more difficult. Whether you are a church staff member, a congregant, or someone who supervises or trains pastors, we sincerely hope the Clergy Burnout Report from the Center for Transforming Engagement will serve as a resource that helps you identify common causes of burnout and supports you with practical recommendations as you discover practical ways to move toward greater health.
Allender Center Offerings
Therapy Godmothers is a duo of two amazing TSS/Allender Center Alumni who offer incredible resources to support therapists in starting, running, and sustaining a thriving private practice. Bethany Belysma MACP ‘16 and Rachel Morell NFTC Level I ‘16, wrote a book called How To Start a Private Practice in WA State and they host Cry Camps – support weekends for burned out healers! Check out their website for more amazing resources and events including therapeutic writing retreats at the Whidbey Institute called Tender||Wild.
- Center for Transforming Engagement’s new podcast features President Derek McNeil along with Director Kate Rae Davis, MDiv ‘15 in conversation with Curt Thompson, MD, Jimmy McGee of the Impact Movement, and Coté Soerens of Cultivate South Park.
- Jasmine Svare MACP ‘14 hosts the podcast: “The Live Your Life Podcast“
- Check out the podcast from Bryan Nixon MACP ‘07 (and newest episode linked here) “Why in the World“
- Listen to Dan Cumberland MACS ‘12 in “The Meaning Movement Podcast“.
- Enjoy The Allender Center Podcast!
- Do you have a podcast to share? Please let Jocelyn Skillman know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alumni Community Audit Voucher & Reduced Tuition
With more online courses available now, you won’t want to miss your opportunity to redeem your annual community audit voucher! As lifelong learners, our Alumni may join a class for free once a year with the annual Community Audit Voucher. Auditing a class is different from earning graduate credit or continuing education hours for a course, however, CEUs may be purchased for $30/seat hour. In addition, all non-degree seeking alumni in need of additional course credits receive a discounted tuition rate of $500 per credit.
View the 2022-2023 course schedule to get an idea of what you may be interested in. To register for a course using the Community Audit Voucher, please email Kelsey Wallace at email@example.com for details and class availability.
We’re hiring! Visit the Current Openings page to learn more – and please share this information with anyone you know who may be a good fit for our community.
Alumni Announcements & News
If you would like to place an announcement or share news in our upcoming quarterly alumni newsletter, please email Jocelyn Skillman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Facebook – At The Seattle School Alumni Association Facebook Group you can offer and gather professional resources, promote your own events and more, learn of upcoming events and information, and connect with fellow alumni. It has been an active and vibrant place for communication.
LinkedIn – On our LinkedIn group you can connect and network with other alumni. Find a range of information relating to your professional life. Opportunities for networking events, jobs, CEUs, and general career advice can all be found in this private group. Promote an event, share a resource, or network about jobs in your area.