MAGL Grad Reflects on Program

A female DBU student looking up.

Sarah Estes, graduate of DBU’s M.A. in Global Leadership Program, states that she now has a stronger visual of what the integration of faith and culture looks like after going through this educational experience.

“Through MAGL, I learned more clearly how to integrate faith and culture,” Estes shared. “My faith grows through my spiritual disciplines and how I worship the Lord. Through these practices, He works in me and allows my faith to be reflected in my culture and in various other cultures. God has taught me how to be more invested in my own, local community and how to continue to show other people how they can integrate their gifts and careers into international work.

Sarah challenges future students to be open to all ministry opportunities and career mindsets, not limiting the options and doors God can open in one’s life.

“Don’t limit yourself to a certain kind of ministry or career mindset,” Estes advised. “God can open many doors and will use your education for His glory in different contexts. He will be faithful to His mission, at home and abroad.”

Estes states that future graduates can join her in leading short term mission trips and assisting medical clinics in Haiti, as she develops a support program for missionaries from her church.

“Technically, I have a separate profession and ministry, but God is allowing those two to come together through my semi-annual trips to Haiti to do rural healthcare in villages where people do not have access to medical resources,” Estes explained. “I was first called to be a nurse, and then God opened the doors to MAGL years later. My ministry can include being a nurse, but does not always have the healthcare aspect in the international work that I do. However, from learning in classes how to build faith bridges, how to have relevant cross-cultural conversations, and how to contextualize Bible storying, I can have faith-based dialogues as I practice nursing, even in the U.S.”

Estes explains that she now has the ability and perspective to see the world through the lens of more than just American eyes. She has built strong relationships with people from other countries, her worldview has grown, as well as her confidence in reaching those with a different worldview.

“I can now avoid just seeing the world through Western eyes and consider the importance of cultural background and history,” Estes said. “I have stronger relationships with people from other countries and I feel more confident in reaching out to people who have different worldviews than me. I also have the tools to graciously assess and appreciate a variety of worldviews.

Estes encourages future MAGL graduates to remember that God has provided the tools needed in order to follow His path, even if that path is not entirely clear.

“To those who will graduate soon, know that God has equipped you and can use you in myriad ways as you pursue His direction,” Estes shared. “It may not be clear right now, and you may find yourself taking a few steps back. However, I have learned that God takes hard situations and allows our trust to be a refining process. He can close and open doors that your heart never imagined and will use your faithful service for His kingdom purposes.”

Written by The Graduate School of Ministry

The Graduate School of Ministry provides training for individuals who sense God's call to ministry. The mission of the Graduate School of Ministry integrates foundations of Christian faith and values with professional academic studies.