Kayla Bonewell (MDiv 2008) was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and majored in religion at Oklahoma City University, a private Methodist university. Halfway through college, she switched from the Methodist faith to the United Church of Christ. After college, she earned a master’s of liberal arts in creation spirituality at Matthew Fox’s University of Creation Spirituality in downtown Oakland, CA. She then felt ready for seminary and was accepted at PSR.
"What was most valuable to me were the seminary's centers, PANA and CLGS. For two summers I worked for PANA's youth leadership program, Represent to Witness, and learned a lot from that community and experience. As for CLGS, I really appreciated their presence, as well as their resources, workshops, and staff. Where else in the country would you find centers like these?
"I also appreciated the contextual education courses. I traveled to Samoa and also took part in the New York City arts trip; both courses allowed me to stretch and grow. I also valued PSR student groups, such as the Disabled Student Union and the contemplative student group. Participating in such groups provided me with learning outside my everyday experience.
"At PSR a lot of different types of people come together and bump up against one another. Of course you make mistakes, culturally and otherwise, but these mistakes provide growing edges for the community, and I am very grateful when we all drew together to address and work on a problem instead of sweeping it under the table. It's in these moments that I was most proud of PSR and felt surrounded by authentic community."