My name is Heather Whitehead and I am a first year student in the MTS program. I started here in the spring of 2021, and this is my story of how I came to study here at McMaster Divinity College.

When 2020 started, and COVID was little more than a whisper, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. My faith at the time was about the size of a mustard seed. I believed in God, and I believed in Jesus, but that was about the extent of my faith. As you can imagine, dealing with cancer in a pandemic presented some unique challenges, but God didn’t give up on me. He used my diagnosis as an opportunity to bring certain people into my life that would ultimately set me on a course to come back to my faith, and by the end of 2020, I could see the cancer as a blessing. Of course, I never want to go through those experiences again, but I know God used it for transformation. 2020 wasn’t the year I had cancer, but the year I came back to my faith.

Along the way I felt that God was saying to me, “I called you for so much more”, but through prayer and some people speaking into my life, it became clear that he was calling me to ministry. I didn’t think I was qualified to pursue a master’s degree in theology, but God closed doors and opened others, leading me to MDC. I can see his hand in all the little details that have gotten me here, so I am confident this is exactly where I am supposed to be.

Now, as I complete my second semester, one of the things I have come to really appreciate about McMaster is the number of denominations represented. I love learning from others and hearing different viewpoints that challenge my thinking and allow me to grow. I thank God for his guidance in leading me here and look forward to one day being able to pastor, using my past experiences to help lost and broken people find God.


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