Deborah Austin, an East Tennessee Episcopalian and lover of justice, has received the last annual award of a special full-ride scholarship to Bexley Seabury Seminary. Backed by an anonymous donor for a limited period of three years, the St. Marina scholarship is awarded to only one incoming seminarian who is out publicly as LGBTQ+, demonstrates a commitment to justice ministry, has a good GPA, and plans to study full-time. The scholarship will support Austin in her studies with funds for tuition, books, travel, and lodging.
Having invested nearly twenty years into medical and forensic social work and being passionate about health care, mental health, legal advocacy and spirituality, Austin found Bexley Seabury’s emphasis on innovation and diversity in ministry as well as their “think outside the box” style harmonious with her calling. Austin also found Bexley Seabury’s hybrid non-residential program to be the right fit for her family, allowing her wife and kids to remain in their home and avoiding the challenges of moving.
“She is bright, committed, called, and will be a prophet and pastoral presence in her community and the church. She checked all the boxes for this scholarship” – Dr. Therese DeLisio, Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Theology and Liturgy at Bexley Seabury Seminary