Pat Krebs, Ashland Theological Seminary 2001 alumna, knows a thing or two about the hands and feet of Jesus. In a recent interview, she shared how her time in seminary equipped her for a life of ministry that, almost twenty years later, continues to spread the Good News through acts of compassion and service.
When did you attend Ashland Theological Seminary, and what did you pursue?
I attended ATS after a shift from many years in the pharmaceutical industry with Abbott Laboratories, graduating in 2001 with a Master's of Divinity and a Masters in Clinical Counseling. Coming from the healthcare industry, I knew I wanted to prepare for a ministry in hospital chaplaincy. These degree programs were exceptional in equipping me to accomplish the work God has called me to do.
What moment or memory from your time at Ashland Theological Seminary stands out the most?
One of my greatest memories is attending my first day of class and recognizing that over 80 denominational groups were represented in the student base! Because of the diversity of thought and theology, I was challenged to grow in new ways.
How do you feel about your time at Ashland Theological Seminary?
Ashland Theological Seminary holds a special place in my heart. The professors, staff, and students that shared their knowledge and compassion with me changed my life, and I want to be intentional and creative in the ways I can pay it forward to others. Ashland Theological Seminary for me was and is a place where I could connect and be transformed through learning, loving and laughter! It has been almost 20 years since my graduation, but I still smile when I think of the cohort of students that joined me on that journey.
What achievement or post-graduation accomplishment are you most proud of?
After many years as first a hospital chaplain and then a bioethics consultant, I moved into a leadership role as the System Director for Spiritual Care in a large healthcare system. Each day, I directed 45 chaplains across multiple facilities across the continuum of care. The transferable skills from my corporate life in tandem with my seminary education prepared me to think outside the box as we met the multi-faith needs of both patients and staff.
How are you using the skills you gained at Ashland Theological Seminary in your life today?
As I watched disasters of all types play out on the world's stage, I felt a call toward disaster relief efforts. Today, I am the Regional Disaster Spiritual Care lead for the American Red Cross. As I work to build and equip teams of spiritual care providers to meet the growing needs of those impacted by natural disasters, such as hurricanes, fires, and floods as well as traumatic events in aviation or school shootings, I feel poured out in ways that are both satisfying and challenging. The skills I learned in counseling, ministry, and networking have helped to make someone's worst day just a bit better.
What do you think people need to know about the Seminary that they do not currently know?
I think Ashland Theological Seminary is one of the best-kept secrets out there! I would encourage anyone who wants to begin or deepen their education as a minister or layperson to consider the offerings ATS provides. Together, as students and alumni, we are better. My hope, from the words of Proverbs 90:17 is that the "Favor of God rest upon you as He establishes the work or your hands.” Blessings on your journey!