Graduate’s calling points her toward Princeton Theological Seminary

File Under: Outcomes

Rachel Hoskins ‘01 recently discerned a call to study theology and was accepted into the Masters of Theological Studies program at Princeton Theological Seminary.

“I experienced some tough circumstances as a child, including losing a parent to cancer. So tough questions about life and what it means to be human have been with me for a long time,” said Hoskins. “It took me a while to understand them as theological concerns, and it took me a while to realize I was being called to explore them.”

Hoskins' uncle, Daniel Hoskins, is professor of business administration emeritus at Malone and taught when she was a student, so you could say that Malone runs in the family. Her Malone experience also played a major role in Hoskins’ life as she discovered more about her vocational journey.

“A few of the relationships I built while I was at Malone are a large part of why I am at Princeton Theological Seminary today,” said Hoskins. “In addition to Malone’s Quaker heritage, its faculty brings perspectives from many Christian traditions. This diverse faith environment is a rare gift to students and the entire Malone community,” said Hoskins.

“When I was a Malone student, Dr. Matt Phelps encouraged me to pursue an honors program at the University of Oxford. More recently, as I considered my calling, he graciously and generously served as my unofficial Malone adviser, asking the tough questions and providing a wealth of insight. He passionately cares about higher education that fosters meaning and purpose and is dedicated to his students’ flourishing. I’m grateful to him, and many others, for investing in my life and making Malone the place that it is.”

At Malone, Hoskins majored in communication arts, with a concentration in journalism and a minor in vocal music performance, which led her to spend part of her career as a creative advertising writer (e.g., Peggy Olson from HBO’s “Mad Men''). “While advertising is not the most theological of occupations, it gave me a valuable insider's view into our market-driven society and the many ways we are led to believe we can live our ‘best lives,’” she said.

“All the ‘stuff’ we are told we need – our phones, apps, Amazon, trips to far-flung places, resume-builders, stock market shares, houses, even ideas about entrepreneurship – I think, maybe, might be getting in the way of the actual lives we are meant to live and the actual people we are meant to be,” she said.

Hoskins chose to attend Princeton Theological Seminary this fall in the interest of serious scholarship and authentic Christian belief. She looks forward to their culture of rich ecumenism and tradition of deep theological reflection.

“As a student in their MA(TS) program, I will have the opportunity to pursue specialized theological studies in my area of interest,” she said. “I hope to explore this question of who we are meant to be. Because, of course, this is the most important question we can ask. And it is a question that leads us to God.”