New Directions for a New Year


By Emily Dean

Greetings! A new semester of possibilities awaits here at NOBTS! If I haven’t gotten the opportunity to meet you yet, let me introduce myself. I am Emily Dean, and I will be serving as the Coordinator for Women’s Programs. I am also an adjunct faculty member, so in addition to many of our events on campus you may see me in class too. To get to know me a little better, let me tell you about my own seminary journey.

Fourteen years ago this month I moved onto the campus of NOBTS. Having just graduated with an undergraduate degree in Accounting, God was guiding my life in a completely new direction. I had no idea what God had planned for me, only a firm conviction that God had called me to be equipped to serve Him in whatever capacity He led. It was both exciting and terrifying! Blind faith seemed to be the theme of my life. For the record, I’m much better at walking by sight. What can I say? I like to have a plan! Despite my clear inadequacies in the walk of faith, God continued to guide me faithfully each step of the way as some of my questions about direction were answered and new ones developed.

Fast forwaEmily Deanrd eight years and God clarified my calling even further leading me again to NOBTS to pursue a PhD. By this time I was a ministry wife and mom of a toddler. My husband, Dr. Jody Dean, and I were serving full time in ministry, and he was working on a PhD as well. Life was crazy, but God faithfully guided us through. Then 3 ½ years ago we moved back onto the main campus of NOBTS when Jody was called to a ministry of full time teaching. Since completing my degree I have continued to serve as an adjunct faculty member while chasing a (now grade school!) child and preschooler all over campus. If you’re on campus, maybe you’ve seen me try to keep up with them on their bikes!

Once again this January, God is leading me in a new direction, one that I never would have imagined fourteen years ago. It’s easy to see in hindsight how God has led me and prepared me for each step of the journey. Walking in faith every day is much more challenging. Maybe like me you have struggled to figure out where God is leading you in your calling. Maybe you are also starting seminary in January and wondering what God is doing with your life. Be encouraged! Here are a few things from 1 Corinthians 10:31 that God has taught me along the way about doing everything for His glory.

  1. Enjoy the process

Each part of the journey has value even if it doesn’t make sense at the time. Enjoy whatever God has given you to do today.

2. Be faithful today

Whatever God has given you to do today, do it well for the glory of God.

 3. Remember your purpose

If we keep our eyes on the big picture, the smaller details of life do not seem so monumental. Ask yourself, “Am I glorifying God in all that I’m doing today?”

Ladies, feel free to stop by my office in the Dean of Students office and tell me about your journey of faith. On one of the walls you will see this verse hanging:

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

As a fellow traveler, join me in this journey of faith. More adventures await!

Emily Dean serves as Coordinator of Women’s Programs and Adjunct Faculty at NOBTS.