Akiko Miyake-Stoner (MDiv 2010)
Born in California, Akiko was raised in Colorado and went to Cornell College in Iowa, where she majored in religion and first heard about PSR from alumnae Catherine Quehl-Engel and Emory Gillespie, whom she calls "really strong, amazing women, with great ideas and refreshing ways of creating worship." After working for two years at an adult day health center in Seattle and feeling a "tug toward seminary," she paid PSR a visit during Ministry as Vocation.
"I was very struck by the progressive Christian community here and the commitment to social justice, and the warm atmosphere, as well as the openness for questions and exploration—it seems okay here to not know exactly what you want to do and to grapple with issues of faith.
"I feel like I’m learning a lot from my fellow students—just from impromptu conversations and from hanging out—as well as from my professors and classes," she says at the end of her first semester. She has especially benefited from a spiritual disciplines course. "Before coming here," she says, "I was kind of scared of meditation and silence; contemplative prayer has been really grounding for me. And did I mention the GTU? It's awesome, too. The possibilities are pretty much endless for the kinds of classes you can take."