January 24, 2020

Catholic School Week Supplement

Teacher becomes student to deepen her own bond with Christ

By John Shaughnessy

Kristin CampbellFor Kristin Campbell, her approach as a teacher always led to one main goal.

At St. Mary School in North Vernon, Campbell constantly strived “to guide my classroom in a way that cultivates every student’s relationship with Christ.”

That approach led her to become a finalist for last year’s Saint Theodora Excellence in Education Award, the highest honor for a Catholic educator in the archdiocese.

This year, it has led her to take a break from teaching to focus on deepening her own relationship with Christ as she continues to pursue a master’s degree in theology at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad.

“This is one way for me to respond to the call for holiness,” Campbell says. “The master’s is a way of deepening my faith by increasing my knowledge of the Catholic Church through theological reflection, studying spiritual texts and enhancing my prayer life.”  

In leading her junior high students at St. Mary School, Campbell had already set an example of studying her own faith deeper—starting with the time when she prepared to be received into the full communion of the Church.

“Because I am a convert and did not have the Catholic faith for the first 22 years of my life, I soak up every minute of it now and have a great appreciation for the sacraments and traditions of the Church,” she says.

At the beginning of every school year, Campbell would share her journey to the Catholic faith—“and how lost I was before I found the faith.”

Now, she is wondering about the next path that God has for her life.

“The [master’s degree] program is allowing me time to discern my role in the Church while seeking formation opportunities,” she says. “At this point, I am enjoying my time at home raising my three children with no specific plans upon the completion of my master’s.”

A return to teaching is a possibility.

“Teaching has always been such a part of my identity, and I greatly miss working with children and sharing my faith journey with them. I am open to returning to teaching at some point if this is where I am led through my discernment process.” †

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