Angel Nalubega ’18, who majored in History at Antioch with a focus in Race and Ethnicity Studies, has been accepted to the three-year Master of Divinity program (MDiv) at Princeton Theological Seminary on a full scholarship – The Francis Grimke Scholarship – to begin in the fall. Angel is interested in public theology and how to intertwine social justice and anti-capitalist politics with the church.
Read our Q&A below to find out about Angel’s Antioch experience, what she did after graduating, and her advice to current students who are thinking of pursuing a path to Ministry.
How did you choose your major at Antioch?
I had experimented with lots of other classes. I had taken a lot of philosophy classes, a few political economy classes, and I ended up falling in love with history after taking African American history with Kevin McGruder and that got me interested in uncovering stories of people that I hadn’t engaged with before.
I had not taken any history class that had marginalized groups as a focus and so that kind of awakened something in me.
That got me really interested in exploring history more and I continued to take as many classes as I could that help me understand people’s stories and their global and political context in a critical way.
What did you enjoy most from your time at Antioch?
I enjoyed all of the very spirited debates and conversations. I think there are no people on earth to argue quite like Antiochians, and I learned a lot from the conversations that I had with professors and students, whether it was in common rooms or lunch in Birch or in the classroom. I loved that I could talk to literally anyone about anything and someone would always have an opinion, and then there’d be someone who would defend that opinion and someone who would fight tooth and nail against it. I learned so much about myself through talking to other people and many people that I wouldn’t have heard or come to know if Antioch hadn’t been a part of my life. The conversations are something that I really loved and miss.
Where are you now, and what are you doing?
I live in Philadelphia currently. This is my third year of living here. I moved here right after graduation and got a job teaching at an alternative private school in North Philadelphia called St. James School. I teach social studies to fourth, fifth, sixth, and eighth grade. This year, I’m teaching African-American history which is really cool since my first class of African-American history was at Antioch and I could teach that to eighth graders this year. This was my last year teaching, at least for now. I’m going to Princeton Theological Seminary in the fall. I’m really interested in public theology and how to intertwine social justice and anti-capitalist politics with the church. Ideally, I’ll get my Master of Divinity in three years.
What sort of things will you be learning about?
I’ll have classes in pastoral care, how to be present and listen to others, and also classes around how to preach and talk. I’ll get to work in different church spaces and hospital spaces. I’m very much interested in exploring chaplaincy and working with people who are struggling. I’m also very much interested in working with young adults, and particularly figuring out how to help the church fight back against structures that are harmful to communities and get people engaged politically but also spiritually. Princeton Theological Seminary is located right behind the main university of Princeton University. I have to go through that campus to get to the seminary campus. It’s all very beautiful and very big! I get lost every time that I’ve visited.
How has your experience at Antioch helped prepare you for this next step?
It helped me think in an active way. I learned a lot and I also debated a lot. It helped me be politically engaged as well as intellectually engaged through work on campus with ComCil or working with the People of Color group or being involved in social justice things in Dayton or Columbus and connecting that to the classroom. I think all of those things helped me see the world in a different light, and Co-op helped me encounter systems and structures that we can identify as harmful. I think the education helped me feel well-rounded because I was able to act in a very intentional way throughout my entire experience. I got to learn very deeply and I got to experiment with careers and jobs and all of that. I got to have really intense organizing experiences in the surrounding area with Black Lives Matter and all of those things. I don’t think I would have been able to do that at other schools. I think it helped me feel very connected to the rest of the world, even though Yellow Springs and Antioch are small, I felt very much a part of the world around me.
What advice would you give to students or alumni interested in pursuing your path?
Get involved in local community. Talk to your neighbors and actually listen to them. Work with people who are like-minded and get out of your own bubble and just try to make community wherever you can find it. I think that has helped me a lot. The path that I’m pursuing is really all about creating relationships with your neighbors and letting that guide you. And also, reading! Reading helps a lot too.
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