Melanie Foust is a second-year seminary student at Candler School of Theology at Emory University and current recipient of a Stegall Scholarship. She received her undergraduate degree from Asbury College and is a member of First United Methodist Church (FUMC) of Pensacola, Fla. She anticipates graduating from seminary in May 2021 and looks forward to serving in the Alabama-West Florida (AWF) Conference.
“Melanie is a shining example of hearing God’s call and taking the leap of faith to answer the call,” says Rev. Brandon Bures, Associate Pastor at FUMC Pensacola. “Our church supports her with our prayers and gifts, and we give God thanks and praise for Melanie’s dedication to her studies and her commitment to God.“
Melanie is currently studying at Wesley House in Cambridge, England this school year through a program offered by Candler. According to their website, Wesley House is a “community of Methodist scholars and students at the heart of the University city of Cambridge. Since 1921 it has been a gateway for students in the Wesleyan tradition into the excellent resources for learning in the University of Cambridge.”
“Melanie is incredibly bright, very dedicated, and sincerely wants to serve as an effective United Methodist minister,” says Dr. Karl K. Stegall, foundation president. “She is a shining example of our wonderful students and, interestingly, lives on ‘Jesus Lane’ in Cambridge.”
We asked Melanie to share with us about her experiences studying in England.
“My call to ministry began from a desire to journey alongside people throughout their lives of faith. As I continue in my discernment process as a certified candidate in the AWF conference, I am grateful for all the people who continue to journey alongside me.
Through Candler’s international exchange program, I’m excited to be spending my second year of seminary studying in Cambridge. is is made possible through a partnership with Wesley House, the Methodist college, in collaboration with the Cambridge Theological Federation and the University of Cambridge. I am working towards a Diploma in Theology and Ministry this year, before returning to Candler for my final year of seminary.
From classes that ask big questions about God and the church to classes that foster interfaith understanding, I am learning what it means to be part of a global community as I study with people from all over the world. Our lived experiences and theological understandings are diverse. Through studying and worshiping in community, we are given the opportunity to learn more of God, each other, and ourselves.
Through an internship this year with a local congregation, I’m also learning more about the British Methodist Church. I’m learning to sing a few more of Charles Wesley’s 6,000+ hymns!
I would like to thank each and every donor of the Stegall Foundation. Your support is what makes seminary a reality for me. Thank you for your prayers, your financial support, and your encouragement. While being so far away this year, it’s incredibly heartwarming to know I have the prayers and support of people back home.”