Sita Riblet, Sioux Falls Seminary Graduate, Class of 2007, M.A.C.L.
July 2, 2012
Carrying out the call…
Though there were many classes Sita took as a student at Sioux Falls Seminary, there are some, she says, that are obvious connecting points between her seminary experience and her current career. Sita has just begun her fifth year of serving as a Learning Community Area Coordinator at Dordt College, where she supervises two residence halls and works with student retention.
Classes such as Leadership Emergence Theory, Mentoring, and her internship helped to prepare Sita for her future while she was at SFS. She said her whole experience as a student at SFS challenged and shaped her to be a better leader than she would have been had she not pursued her master’s degree. Her theology and Bible classes as well as the relationships that she formed with the faculty, staff, and fellow students in seminary have been helpful in shaping how she now views the world, and how she asks questions as a Christian. All of these things have been helpful to Sita at her job as she leads and trains future leaders, and as she works with students in various capacitates at a Christian college.
The original call…
I first felt called to ministry at age 16 when I was at church camp. It was during my week as a camper at Senior High camp, I made a commitment to a life of Christian ministry. I really felt that tug on my heart and, for the first time, acknowledged my call to ministry. During my time counseling at church camp, I realized I enjoyed nurturing others in their relationship with God and that I liked working on a team of people-working towards a common goal.
During college, I was a Resident Assistant (RA) and enjoyed helping others in the various aspects of their lives-whether academic or relationship-oriented. I loved forming relationships with people and helping foster community so others could form relationships. I enjoyed learning more about mentoring relationships as I was able to intentionally mentor those a year or two younger than me.
After college, I wanted to be a Resident Director at a college, but I did not get a job in that field because I did not have my master's degree. So, I took a job at a daily newspaper and sold advertising for almost two years. I learned quite a bit about the corporate world, how to work with people who were different than me, and other things. However, I knew that God had something more in store for me, and I became very restless. I was much more interested in helping people with their lives than with their money and advertising needs.
In January 2005, I had a desperate prayer time with God on the way to work and I told him that I would do whatever he wanted me to; I didn't care; I just wanted out of the newspaper job. A friend had signed me up to get information from North American Baptist Seminary (now Sioux Falls Seminary) during the summer of 2004. And as I got the information, I briefly read it and then threw it in the trash-seminary was obviously not for me. But, when I got home from work that day in January, I found a brochure from the seminary that had come in the mail. The front said, "Life out of Focus?" I immediately identified with that question as the answer was a resounding "yes" for me at that time. I thoroughly read the pamphlet and realized that while it was a campus visit invite, I would not be able to make to campus during those dates. So, I immediately checked out the seminary website and checked into their academic programs. Right away I found the Master of Arts in Christian Leadership program and thought it sounded like me. I was really interested.
I was committed to being a full time student at Sioux Falls Seminary before I went on my campus visit in March, and I moved into my campus apartment and started classes in August 2005.
Through classes my brain gained new wrinkles; I learned a lot. I also loved living and learning in this seminary family, and although community was important to me before I came to Sioux Falls Seminary, it became more important as I realized that worship and time with God was not about me; it's about the Body of Christ. The availability of SFS' staff and faculty is wonderful! I was able to have enriching conversations that helped me grow in my understanding of ministry. Community is huge at SFS! Not only the community in the seminary buildings, but also the community in the seminary apartments. We really were a family! Classes have obviously helped me grow intellectually, although there have been a few that have been really instrumental in helping me nail down a more solid understanding of my call. If you get a chance to take Leadership Emergence and Mentoring classes, take them! My internship at University of Sioux Falls was great too.
Sita now works at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa as a Learning Community Area Coordinator.