The Seattle School – Group Interview

Preparing for my interview at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology was like preparing for an ambiguous pop quiz. Admissions explained the general idea, that the group interview was more like a discussion, but grad schools are notorious for catching students off guard, exposing weakness, and pointing out inadequacy. Trusting my Admissions Counselor was not an easy feat, yet I put my hope and trust in Rachael and drove to the school without preparing, studying, or practicing thoughtful and eloquent answers to questions like, “What do you hope to accomplish with this degree?” Instead, I put all my eggs in the basket of being a great conversationalist and outgoing personality, and held my breath, hoping that this would be enough.

I had anxiously waited for Monday to roll around since I booked my plane ticket in February. This day couldn’t come soon enough!

I like to think of myself as a Master Waiter, the Obi-Wan Kenobi of Patience. Waiting three months for an interview seems like child’s play, right?

No, my friends.

No.

Waiting for this interview was like waiting for someone to stop dragging their nails across a dusty chalkboard. Pain inducing and utterly annoying. Yet, the day came and I was ready.

My friend, Kim (who tagged along for moral support) and I walked through the doors of The Seattle School and I thought to myself, “How can so much spiritual entrepreneurship and growth come from such a tiny red building?” This place, with it’s exposed brick, industrial design, and art gallery-like space looks small, but feels enormous. Like the TARDIS in Dr. Who, it’s bigger on the inside (you’re welcome, fellow nerds).

The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology

The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology

Call it spiritual intuition, divine intervention, or the nervous endorphins running through my body, but I immediately knew that something special happens in that place and I couldn’t help but smile.

There was a bit of “meet and greet” before the group interview. Everyone was dressed in what their geographic region calls “business casual”. The east coast and midwesterners wore a variation of suits without their jackets, Anne Taylor business dresses, or pantsuits, while the west coast and Seattle crowd donned mostly jeans, anything from Anthropologie, and Dockers with golf shirts. We all introduced ourselves by name and state and were split up into our interview groups.

From the start, I loved my group, but maybe I’m a bit biased. We were the most ragamuffin, scrappiest, rag tag group of Christians I’ve ever seen. Every gender, denomination, race, and sexual preference was covered in our group. We talked about God putting us in uncomfortable places as a catalyst for change and growth, how The Seattle School is a safe place to ask questions and grapple with spirituality, and what it means to sit at the intersection of text, soul, and culture. Rachael was right – it really was a simple conversation amongst fellow Christians and my lack of preparation paid off.

Our hour-long conversation ended and everyone gathered together to debrief, a necessity after an emotional roller-coaster experience. We all talked about the interview and how our varying facilitators led their group. For some, their facilitator simply asked a question and let people discuss or argue, while others responded to a particular object or idea. Overall, we all agreed it was an incredible opportunity to peak into what classes would be like at the school, like taking a glimpse into our future education experience.

Now that the interview process is finished and this weight has been lifted from my shoulders, I am free to wait a few more weeks for the final decision on my application. While this particular wait time isn’t as long as the last, I am affirmed every day that this is where God is leading me. I am being spiritually nudged in a direction towards Seattle and I can’t help but dream what my life will look like in four months if I get there. Of course, there is a possibility of denial and I am preparing my heart for this disappointing possibility as well.

There is no particular takeaway from this post, no spiritual lesson, or insightful anecdote, other than the notion of God having a will, a plan for our lives. Whether this plan is ambiguously dreamed and freely lived by our own free will, or intricately woven and predetermined, the truth remains that God is walking with you and working in you and in me.

I share my life with you, in the hope that you’ll see what God has done and rejoice for what He does in yours.

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2 thoughts on “The Seattle School – Group Interview

  1. Kelsey, I was so encouraged by your post. I am awaiting my group interview at The Seattle School as I type this. I too am feeling a bit nervous as you were but equally compelled to “not” prepare and only to have my heart engage in an organic way with other people. I am assuming by your more recent posts, you are attending TSS?. I would love to connect with you via email and possibly meet you when I come for my preview weekend in November.

    • Marge, thank you so much for reaching out to me! And, congratulations on taking the first step towards grad school at The Seattle School! I would be more than happy to connect with you and answer any questions you may have, from a student’s perspective. Feel free to send me an email at kelseyanne2004@gmail.com so we can touch base.

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