When I left my home in Nashville and moved 500 miles across country to start a fellowship in theology, medicine and culture, I didn’t realize that my year as a TMC fellow would influence the subsequent miles I would travel. Yet, two months after finishing the fellowship I found myself on the Appalachian Trail, miles from Duke but realizing my experience as a TMC fellow…
Because of our time spent in lectio divina during spiritual formation, I found myself paying close attention to the scenery around me, slowly digesting the vocabulary of and reflecting on the myriad of mushrooms, ferns and salamanders I encountered. When a large downed tree forced me to go off trail and find a detour, I found myself reflecting on the stories of my classmates in the TMC program. Many of us had to leave the expected path of life and find a new way to heal and be, a way which traditional healthcare often said was impossible. When I received an unexpected plate of homemade food from a family of Afghan refugees while taking a break near a road reminded me of my exegesis of the Hebrew word for wilderness: mid bar. The wilderness could be dangerous place but also a place of unexpected abundance.
The beauty of the TMC program is that the lessons learned during that year-long journey will find themselves seeping into one’s life journey further down the road, into a meal with a stranger, a downed tree across the path, or a cluster of mushrooms on the side of a trail.
-Michele Gourley, TMC Fellow 2016-17
Combining formal academic study with spiritual formation, mentorship, weekly seminars, church and community-based practicums, and semi-annual retreats, the Fellowship in Theology, Medicine, & Culture equips participants to wisely and faithfully engage their vocations with respect to health and medicine.