23 Mar Spring 2021 Alumni Spotlight – Shalee Lehning
SHALEE LEHNING (MTS ’16)
Briefly share with us your background and tell us what you did before seminary.
I am originally from a small town called Sublette, Kansas. Before seminary I worked in athletics. I played professional basketball for a few years and then became a coach at my alma mater, Kansas State University. My coaching career ended at the University of Northern Colorado when I left to pursue seminary.
Why did you decide to attend seminary?
As I got older and faced various trials throughout life, I began to realize that there was a lot more to faith than just professing your beliefs. I could see I needed help not only in learning how to read and handle God’s Word but also how to apply those truths to my life. I also had a growing desire to serve in ministry so I wanted to be intentional about taking the time to diligently study. I am thankful for the equipping I received and have no doubt I would not be prepared to serve in ministry had I not pursued seminary!
When did you begin taking classes at Shepherds Theological Seminary, when did you graduate, and which program were you in?
I attended the one-year program, The WEST Institute, in Laramie, WY which started in August of 2015. I graduated in August of 2016 with my Masters in Theological Studies.
What is something you enjoyed, appreciated, or learned while at STS, and how did it prepare you for ministry?
I appreciate how I not only learned how to handle God’s Word with reverence but I feel like I truly got equipped to serve in ministry. The Master’s-level classes were excellent, but learning how to connect head knowledge with heart realities and living in intentional community with other believers gave me a foundation I was lacking. I also enjoyed the study trip to Israel as I feel like seeing biblical locations in the midst of deep study was an invaluable combination.
Where are you currently serving in ministry?
I currently live in Philadelphia, PA and work for a non-profit Christian organization called Harvest USA. Our ministry helps individuals and families affected by sexual struggles as well as provides resources that address biblical sexuality to individuals and churches. We exist to partner with and equip the Church in bringing the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to transform the lives of those affected by sexual sin.
Are there any specific ways in which the Lord has been at work in your life, family, or ministry?
I am privileged to see God work in powerful ways through my ministry. The men and women who come to our ministry are hurting, confused, and many have been suffering in silence for a long time. They earnestly desire to love God, but for most, their struggles have left them weary and brokenhearted. I regularly get to sit in the ashes with these people and watch God not only rescue his beloved but bring healing and hope in ways only he can. There really is nothing too great for our God.
Would you like to share any current prayer requests that we could pray for?
Please pray for strength and perseverance as working in a ministry of this nature can be emotionally and spiritually draining. Pray that I would remain rooted and grounded in God’s Word and truth as I minister to others. Please also pray for the courageous men and women who come to our ministry: that they would grow in understanding of their identity in Christ as well as God’s love for them and that the God of all comfort would deeply comfort their hurting hearts.
In addition to writing resources on the topics of gender and sexuality to equip the local church, Harvest USA also provides 1-on-1 short-term term discipleship as well as biblical support groups for men and women struggling in the area of gender and sexuality. We also have a wives ministry for women whose husbands are struggling in these areas as well as a parents ministry for parents whose children identify as either gay or transgender. Lastly, we also offer consultations to ministry leaders to provide guidance on specific ministry situations.