Living Well 60+ January-February 2014 - Page 30

30 JAN/FEB 2014 Person of Interest Charisse Gillett Seminary President Stresses Power of Lifelong Learning by Jamie Lober, Staff Writer Lexington Theological Seminary (LTS) is a graduate institution accredited for the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies and Doctor of Ministry degrees. Founded in 1865, it is not new, but the growing percentage of older students coming to the seminary is a new phenomenon. Charisse Gillett, President of LTS, has welcomed the surge of mature students with open arms. She feels strongly about the power of lifelong learning. “In our student population, the average age is 46, so many would be considered second-career students,” Gillett said. “They had a career as a teacher or doctor and are responding to wanting to be a minister or pastor a church.” Gillett feels there is a connection among everyone at the seminary. “Whether they are second career, raising families or married, when I think about them, I actually identify with them and the idea that God has called them at this point in their life to pursue an education and to pastor a church,” said Gillett. It is not always an easy journey. “There are challenges that come along with going back to school,” Gillett said. “You have to find a way to manage your time so you are able to care for your children and spouse and still do justice to your studies. Finding time to be reflective about your own place in life and time management can be a huge challenge.” LTS offers students the chance to pursue various interests. “Students study the history of the Bible, Greek and scripture. They learn how God helps people and how they can help the members of their congregations understand why faith is important to them today,” said Gillett. Becoming the seminary’s President was a clear course for Gillett. “I had been working in higher education for about 28 years and had always been committed to it,” she said. “My undergraduate degree is in social work and I have two graduate degrees in higher education.” She utilized her skills to the greatest capacity. “I worked as a trustee of the seminary for about six or seven years, and then I became the main employee responsible for admission and recruitment,” she said. “Then I became President.” Gillett, who is married to a minister, Rev. Dr. Donald Gillett III, describes herself as a Christian and an educator. “The work that I do as President is a good combination of what I care about in terms of education and what I care about in terms of faith,” she said. “I hope it is obvious that I care about the opportunity for every person to achieve their goals through education. One of the things I get to do as President is I have a chance to meet with people who care about the same things that I do, and an obvious benefit is to talk to people who care about education, faith and community.” Gillett is thankful she chose this course. “I am hopeful for the future and pray for a long tenure at the seminary,” she said. “We are a place where both clergy and laypeople can come and study and be encouraged to grow in their faith.” It is never too late to get involved, whether you want to take classes towards a degree or just enroll in continuing education classes. “We have classes that start year round,” Gillett said. “If someone is interested in the seminary or learning more about us, they can either call us or go to our Web site [www. lextheo.edu] and our director of admissions would be happy to guide them through the process.” Charisse Gillet Photo courtesy Lexington Theological Seminary I hope it is obvious that I care about the opportunity for every person to achieve their goals through education.” —Charisse Gillett, President, Lexington Theological Seminary Kentucky’s Leading Hair Replacement Facility • Genetic Hair Loss • Chemotherapy • Alopecia • Cosmetic Hair Replacement 859.263.9811 Hair Institute offers several surgical and non-surgical hair restoration options, including Virtual Reality®, full and partial prostheses, hand-knotted wigs, and human hair extensions. - Laser Light Hair Therapy - Surgical Hair Restoration Options - Full Cranial Vacuum Prostheses - Enhancements and Integrations 1795 Alysheba Way Suite 7101 Lexington, Kentucky 40509 HAIR REPLACEMENT • HAIR RESTORATION • HAIR EXTENSIONS Professional • Confidential • Meticulous AMERICAN HAIR LOSS COUNCIL www.hairinstitutelexington.com ®