Master of Arts in Family Studies (MAFS), Pasadena campus
Photo: Kaye Schneider in her prayer room wearing her Vital Connections t-shirt.
Follow Kaye on Fuller’s Instagram! She's one of several grads posting their pictures there this month.
I entered Fuller a lost, broken woman; I graduate with the joy of new vineyards that are producing fruit.
My journey to Fuller began after a long season in an emotional desert. It was in this desert God came and spoke tenderly to me. There he told me he would restore my vineyards; that he would make my Valley of Trouble into a Door of Hope (Hosea 2:14-15). That door was acceptance into Fuller’s Recovery Ministry certificate program. Obeying a very clear direction, I enrolled as a part-time certificate student in 2009.
The first Fuller group I checked out was a vocational discernment one, focusing on listening prayer and seeking God’s guidance for vocation. I love to pray, I long to hear God, and I had no clue what vocation God had set before me as a newly single 58-year-old mother of four adult children. This group became a mainstay of my four years at Fuller. The chaplains who lead the groups offer support and encouragement, allowing students the safety of “not knowing” while waiting on God.
The classes designed by Dr. Dale Ryan, head of the Fuller Institute of Recovery Ministry, are powerful, pastoral ministry classes that examine brokenness and pain while offering hope for recovery. These classes began to renew my thinking and transform behaviors. After completing the certificate, I spent another year pursuing an MA in Christian Leadership, but two courses shy of graduation, I still had questions about addiction. Dr. Sarah Schnitker encouraged me to consider the School of Psychology -- and by the grace of God, all credits transferred to the MA in Family Studies degree.
I was and am an educator, and the MAFS offers a Family Life Education track. This coupled with my emphasis in Recovery Ministry have allowed me to pursue my passion to educate and empower others whose lives have been affected by addiction and abuse. Because I was not aware of my part in an addictive relationship, I recognize the need to educate folks on healthy behaviors. My practicum allowed me to put my passion into practice, resulting in the creation of a student group, VITAL CONNECTIONS: Recovery Community @Fuller.
Fuller has given me stronger theology to undergird my work with preventative education and healing. I entered as a lost, broken woman. I graduate with the joy of new vineyards that are producing fruit in the Fuller community. The future is unclear to me, but I rest in the hands of the One who transforms, renews, and holds my future.