Rev. Diana Davies, MDiv '17, was called as the settled minister at the First Unitarian Church of Oklahoma City in May 2018. She serves on the Meadville Lombard Board of Trustees and supports the school financially.

I had a long, painful, and circuitous faith journey, which took me from childhood dreams of becoming a minister, to being told that path was closed to me because I was a girl, to becoming so disillusioned with my childhood faith that I adamantly rejected all faith, to finding Unitarian Universalism late in life. When I finally knew in my bones that I needed to become a UU minister, I also realized that I needed to attend a UU seminary, in part because I was still so new to the faith. After considering my two options, I chose Meadville Lombard, and I have never regretted that decision.   

I enrolled in a couple of January classes on an exploratory basis. The first class I took was Ministry in a Post-Denominational Age offered by (then President) Rev. Lee Barker. The things I took away from that one, intensive, weekend class ended up being a kind of condensed summary of my main learnings at MLTS:

  1. "ministry" is many things and it is always changing;
  2. what we do really matters, even if we don't have the luxury of seeing results in our lifetime;
  3. because congregational structures and job descriptions will be changing dramatically, and we can't be sure exactly WHAT we will be doing in the near future, it's especially important to have a theological, historical and prophetic grounding, to know WHY we're doing it;
  4. for dominant culture people like me, learning will first require unlearning, and building will first require dismantling, and this will be a life-long process; and
  5. to make it through the journey, spiritual practice will be required.  

I am forever grateful to MLTS for teaching me all these things. As it happens, my UU ministry has, so far, completely overlapped with the Trump administration, a period of rising hatred and democratic crises, and I was only in my first settled ministry about 18 months before we had to pivot from in-person to 100% virtual services and programs. I feel that MLTS prepared me for just such a time as this.   

Through my MLTS classes and experiential learning, I learned that qualities like intelligence, resiliency, and creativity aren't individual abilities so much as they are community gifts. I lean on my MLTS community all the time now, including fellow classmates who I know will be dear friends for life, to keep myself grounded, to find ways of being accountable, and to remember I'm not alone in this work. 

Rev. Diana Davies

Alum & Trustee

Rev Davies holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Rochester with language majors in Russian and Spanish. She served as Director of International Programs at the University of Iowa from 2000-2008, and as Vice Provost for International Initiatives at Princeton University from 2008-2014 before entering Meadville Lombard.

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