Kathy Winings


I became inspired to pursue Religious Education while a seminary student. Kieran Scott was the faculty person teaching my first RE course and I became inspired through his enthusiasm for the discipline. The more I studied, the more inspired I became. I had come to the seminary after having taught a couple of classes in the public school system of NYC and believed that I had a calling to teach but was so frustrated with the school system in NYC that I felt the need to step away from it for awhile.

Through my seminary work, though, I became reinspired. I invested tremendously in my thesis in which I focused on how to teach young adults for greater spiritual commitment. I remember the rich texts from the Orthodox tradition that I dived into and the amazing RE resources I mined for greater understanding of young adults, faith formation and spiritual discipline. I guess I got a little carried away when I turned in a 200 page MDiv. thesis.

After working in Asia for almost a year teaching a range of topics and enjoying ecumenical dialogues with diverse clergy, I knew I had to continue my studies in RE. I applied to 2 schools and ended up at Teachers College. I was blessed to be able to study with Will Kennedy, Maria Harris – who adjuncted a couple of courses at Union while I was doing my doctoral studies and Doug Sloan. In addition, the rich discussions that I could take part in with my fellow students and now RE colleagues added to my education and love of the field.

Imagine my joy when I was asked to teach at the seminary in RE while completing my doctorate. That was 25 years ago. And the field is as fresh and vital to me now as it was then. That experience has been multiplied many times over through the students who come through the seminary each year and who come to realize the richness of RE. Better yet are the testimonies from graduates who occasionally send me stories of their daily discoveries in teaching their students religiously. I can’t imagine it gets much better than this.

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