Jamilla Butler, MTS

Jamilla Butler
Master of Theological Studies

What did you enjoy the most about Palmer?

The community at Palmer—students, faculty, and staff—was the best part of the experience for me. The camaraderie of fellow students and support and guidance from faculty and staff made a huge impact on me while I was at Palmer. I met my now husband (a fellow student at the time) while at Palmer. Everyone rallied around us and supported us in ways we never expected. We held the ceremony and reception at the ABC headquarters building where the seminary is currently housed. Dr. Deborah Winters performed the ceremony, various classmates participated in the ceremony, and staff and students attended the ceremony.

How has Palmer impacted your faith?

I came to Palmer to learn more about my faith as a Christian. Classes like Spiritual Formation helped me to deepen my spiritual practices while classes like Theological Foundations and Systematic Theology helped me to understand and discuss doctrine of the faith. Further, I have learned how to read and study the Bible with greater depth of understanding. Many of the classes challenge previously held beliefs and views, but I have found that I emerged stronger in my faith as a result.

Why did you pick Palmer?

I already had a career in a different field, but I truly felt a call to seminary. I lived near Palmer, so was familiar with it. I decided to visit one other seminary in the Philadelphia area as well. I didn't know what degree I wanted to pursue, but as I listened to Palmer students discuss their experiences at an open house I sensed that Palmer might be the place for me. The degree programs offered seemed to fit the type of learning that I was seeking. A conversation with the then director of admissions solidified my decision and I applied.

What advice do you have for students considering Palmer?

I observed many classmates struggle in classes where their beliefs were challenged. I would advise prospective students to not hold too tightly to previously held beliefs. If you are considering seminary, know that those beliefs will be challenged. Further, you will be stretched in new ways that may feel uncomfortable. Ultimately, however, trust God through the process and you will be amazed at the ways in which you will grow.