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Post by Atéha Bailly 

Hello! My name is Atéha Bailly. I am an incoming MDiv student and I’m happy to be starting work in HDS Admissions!  

Photo Courtesy of Atéha Bailly

Before coming to HDS, I spent a year working in Portland, OR after finishing my undergraduate studies in Religious Studies. During this time, I had the privilege of attending the 2019 Diversity Explorations Program. It was an invaluable opportunity in my discernment process, and it allowed me to spend time with a bunch of brilliant and talented students from universities across the country.  

During my application process, I was definitely not expecting to be attending school in a virtual environment. I have never taken classes online before, so it likely will be a bit of a learning curve. So far, the faculty and staff at HDS have been understanding of the unique challenges this time of pandemic poses which helped alleviate some of my anxiety about this transition.  

I consider music my ministry and I hope to discern, in my time at HDS, how I can use this ministry to address concerns of racial healing and the accessibility of mental health resources. I’m thrilled to say that my courses this semester meaningfully address this goal from a variety of perspectives. This fall, I am taking two courses required of incoming MDiv students, Theories and Methods and Introduction to Ministry Studies. I’m looking forward to refreshing and expanding my Religious Studies tool set and I’m eager to experience a class devoted to thinking about the myriad of forms ministry can take. I am also taking the course African Religion in the Diaspora with Professor Jacob Olupona and Religion and Race in the US with Professors Melissa Bartholomew and Diane Moore. I hope that these classes will give me frameworks for thinking about what racial healing means and demonstrated the global considerations and consequences healing surrounding Blackness in the United States. 

All and all I’d say I’m ready and optimistic about the opportunities, and even the challenges, that lie ahead in my time at HDS.