Laura Shigeta, MDiv '26
About Laura Shigeta
I am a seminarian pursuing my MDiv degree at Seattle Pacific Seminary (SPS). Currently, I feel called by God to become a pastor, and I am working towards getting ordained in my home church denomination, the United Church of Christ Oahu Association. While in Seattle, I am attending The Table Seattle Covenant Church, a new church plant centered around the communion table. At SPS, I am participating as a SoulCare Intern where I mentor and teach undergraduate students how to be small group leaders. This has been my favorite and most life-giving experience at SPS, allowing me to be in a space that cultivates a sense of belonging on campus.
How did you choose to attend SPS?
Attending seminary is a decision that requires careful consideration and reflection. Initially, I had reservations about attending seminary due to warnings from others about the challenges of the experience. Some even suggested that pursuing a degree would be unnecessary for ministry and result in lifelong debt. However, I ultimately decided to enroll at Seattle Pacific Seminary (SPS), and it’s been an invaluable experience that has deepened my faith and given me a space to prepare for the challenges of the journey ahead.
Since beginning my studies at SPS, my experience has been truly transformative. The professors have been incredibly supportive and have created a welcoming space for me to explore my faith and have given me tools on how to navigate my doubts and questions. The school's Academy, Abbey, Apostolate approach has also been essential to my growth. I have been able to learn how to balance education with school and the church at large. I have found comfort in the ability to communicate openly with my professors and receive thoughtful responses to my inquiries on how theology can influence real-world problems.
My Experience at SPS
One aspect of SPS that I particularly appreciate is the school's ecumenical nature. This means that individuals from various faith traditions are welcomed, and multiple voices are heard and valued. This format has exposed me to different faith traditions and allowed me to find solace in other forms of discipleship and worship when my own tradition felt overwhelming. Through SPS, I have learned how to hold both joy and grief, laugher and lament, and care for my soul in ways that have been invaluable to my faith formation.
Overall, my experience at SPS has been a blessing from God, providing me with a supportive community and the tools to deepen my faith in ways that I did not know were possible. I greatly appreciate the chance to meet a wide range of Christians and feel a sense of community amidst others who may not think like me. I appreciate the space to reflect on my Christian faith in ways I couldn’t have imagined prior to being at SPS. It has been an incredibly rewarding path to attend Seattle Pacific Seminary.