Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Interview with Sue Ann Schmidt, Minister

Today's career exploration interview is with Sue Ann Schmidt. She is a minister at the First Congregational Church of Hudson, Ohio, which is the church where I am a member. I asked her to share some of her experiences and thoughts to help some other young woman who may be considering this career path.

What is the best advice you could offer to a young woman who wants to break into your career area?

Probably the first thing to be said is that ministry is more of a calling than a career. A young woman considering ministry as a profession would want to feel that God is calling her to use her gifts and talents in a pastoral ministry setting, i.e. a church, a hospital, chaplaincy, school, or neighborhood service setting. Following the educational training needed by your particular religious institution.
When you started out in your career, how important was your prior experience compared to your formal education? What helped the most?

When I started out in ministry I was educationally prepared, but not so much experientially prepared. I welcomed being with more experienced people who could mentor me and help me develop skills that I knew about, but had not had much opportunity to try out....lots of new areas that were scary until someone was kind enough to walk through them with me.

How did you decide to start?
I always felt I wanted to work in a church. When I was quiet young women in my church were not allowed to be ministers. This is something that I just grew into.

What's been the accomplishment to date that you are most proud of?

I think that it would be hard to single out one accomplishment, but perhaps I would lift up that I hope I’ve made the way a little easier for other women by being a positive example.

Do you set goals each year and are you willing to share one of them with our readers?
My present position requires that I set goals each year. One for this year was “To seek additional ways for the congregation to better care for each other.”

Who was most influential for you when you were making your early career choices?
As a child I had an adult friend who modeled a church career/calling for me, but also I think my parent’s were a strong influence for me.

Did you consider other career choices other than the ministry? For a brief period I wanted to be a cowgirl!

What made difference in your choice? I always felt my life was directed by God’s leading.

Thank you so much Sue Ann for sharing your story with us. I'm sure that this will help someone else who is exploring and looking for where their life may be headed.

PHOTOS: Thanks to the church for allowing me to copy photos from their website. Some of these were from the staff retreat at Habitat for Humanity.


Ally said...

there's no Feed subscrition for this blog?? I had subscribed your"Branding & Markeing"


Chris Brown said...

Thanks for the feed request... I just burned a feed with Feedburner so you should be able to subscribe now. Thanks!