Kamisha Washington Answers God’s Call to Ordained Ministry
Grateful is the word that best describes Kamisha Washington, a second-year Gammon Theological Seminary student who received a United Methodist Dollars for Scholars scholarship for the 2021-2022 academic year. The $4,000 award included $1,000 in support from the Georgia United Methodist Foundation, St. James UMC in Alpharetta, Gammon Theological Seminary, and the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation.
Kamisha is one of 64 students who received a scholarship from GUMF this year. Her award was funded through an endowed scholarship established with GUMF by friends and family of the Rev. Dr. Glenn L. Ethridge, who passed away last year. They wished to honor his legacy as a United Methodist pastor and chair of the North Georgia Conference’s Board of Ordained Ministry.
Kamisha holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Technical Management from DeVry University and a Master of Business Administration from DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management. A lifelong learner, she is pursuing a Master of Divinity degree and ordination as a deacon in The United Methodist Church while working full time as a certified professional coach.
In October 2018, Kamisha joined St. James UMC. “This was my first experience attending a United Methodist church. The church is so loving and so empowering and believes in making disciples of Jesus Christ and sharing with every person we meet,” she said. “I took an eight-week Survival Kit Bible class, which helps you understand what it means to be a Christian and how to live that life. I was so excited about this class that I started facilitating it.”
The Rev. Dr. Michael T. McQueen served as pastor at St. James UMC before he was appointed Central North district superintendent of the North Georgia Conference in 2020. The church would make it a point to recognize Bible study class members and teachers during graduation ceremonies. It was during one of these special services in 2019 that Kamisha responded to God’s call.
“Pastor McQueen was preaching about following the Holy Spirit, and he asked, ‘Who feels like they have been led or are being called to ordained ministry and seminary?’ I had seminary on the brain, and once I started facilitating the class, it was like God was speaking to me,” Kamisha said. “When Pastor McQueen asked again, I heard the Holy Spirit tell me to stand up. So, I did, and I was the only one.
Serving as a deacon resonates with me because I truly believe God will use me to bridge academia and the church. So many people are leaving the church because they think it’s not relevant. We need to think of new and creative ways to reach people and show them different approaches. How do you make theology practical in the world we live in today? We are in the world, but we are not of the world, so we need to be cognizant of things in the world so we can make the intended impact.”
The scholarship Kamisha received had a life-changing impact. “I don’t have to worry about whether I have to sit out a class because I can’t afford it. It allows me that space to breathe so I can focus on what’s important. It also fills me with encouragement and confirmation from God that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing,” Kamisha said. “Being a recipient of this scholarship has been, in a way, like what I do with other folks as a professional coach – it’s partnering with me, guiding me, and pushing me forward in the work that God has called me to do. When I coach people, I like to focus on what we are grateful for so we can lead better lives.
And when I think about paying it forward, I also want to help those coming behind me and find ways I can donate to allow other folks to receive this type of scholarship in the future. I am so grateful for this scholarship. Your resources are creating the disciples of Jesus that we need in the world. It’s one thing to say, ‘We’re praying for you.’ But if someone is hungry, feed them if you have the means. You are taking that Scripture to heart, and it is such a blessing to be able to experience God’s word in practice!”