Student Spotlight

Dana Spivy Glover

Tell us a bit about yourself. 

My name is Dana Spivy Glover, and my husband of four years (at the end of April) is named Jeff. My family is originally from middle Tennessee, but I mostly grew up in Louisiana because my Dad was in the Air Force. I’ve lived in several places, mostly in the Southeast, and my soul is deeply Southern. I love big families, long kitchen tables, baking, sweet tea and coffee with chicory. I have two older siblings and two younger siblings, and small army of nieces and nephews. My family is always growing, as well. My parents started serving as foster parents when I was in the third grade, and in those thirty-plus years they have helped raise more than 125 children. Most of those kids have been medically fragile, so I was privileged to grow up in a family world where different is actually typical and “normal” doesn’t carry any meaning at all.

If I have any free time, I like to spend it cooking, baking or reading about cooking and baking. I like to spend quality hours with people I love. I laugh too loud, drink too much coffee, have pretty strong opinions about. . .well, everything, and I’m convinced that claiming awkward moments are the best beginnings to conversation and friendship.

What ministry context are you coming from and what are you hoping to do in the future?

When I graduated from Louisiana State University in 2000, I figured out how to listen to God’s calling in my life and started working in Children’s Ministry. I served in versions of that role for 16 years in congregations in Georgia, Michigan and Tennessee. I am passionate about guiding children toward following Jesus, and even more passionate about helping other adults learn to do that, too. Developing ongoing, vibrant practices of Spiritual Formation may be the most important thing Christians can do for younger generations. I know I will continue to be part of God’s work in this way, but right now I’m not sure what form it will take next. It would be exciting to teach new Children’s Ministers and impact churches through leadership development as a new phase of how I feel called to serve.

What program are you in and what brought you here?

I started the MDiv program in Fall 2019, as a full-time residential student. It might sound like a cliche, but my husband and I moved here for this program because God sent us here. A few years ago, some things went sideways in my ministry life and left us floating a bit while we healed a few deep church-inflicted wounds and tended to some important friendships. When we reached the point that felt like coming up for air after drowning, Jeff and I started thinking about what should be the next move in our life. Stringing together a few moments like: having dreamt about a masters degree earlier in my career, the encouragement of a distinguished professor and feeling wide open to wherever God pointed led us to considering Abilene. Once we embraced that possibility, God absolutely showed out with a wild three months of activity that shut off every other possible direction and opened up a path that brought us to ACU.

What’s been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned being in seminary so far?

So far the most valuable lesson I’ve learned in seminary is to swallow my fear. More often than not the questions in my mind are worth saying out loud because someone else in the room is thinking the same thing. Believing that my ideas and experiences are worth sharing is important because we teach each other almost as much as the professors teach us, and every time I’m brave enough to speak adds a new layer to who I am becoming as a minister, teacher, and leader. While at the same time, when my colleagues are just as brave they shape me, as well.

Have any advice for those considering seminary?

Just go for it. Make it happen, even if you have to do it by taking tiny little bites at a time or if you have to turn your whole life upside down. It’s so worth taking your capabilities as a student or as a minister to the next level with truly brilliant people that just adore Jesus and want to create all the best ways for sharing that love. Waiting for the “right time” may not ever come because this work is hard and encompassing, but every step you take toward committing to the path of seminary is worth what you sacrifice in the kingdom.