by Juliana Bosma, M.A. ’14

The Gateway Orientation was very much as the name implies: A gateway or entrance inviting us into a room of more possibilities and discussion here at Seminary. All the planning and paperwork it took to prepare for our time here was a long and grueling process, but with the help of the staff and their numerous emails, we made it. Immediately upon entering the doors of CTS we were welcomed by many smiling faces and a detailed plan to keep us very busy. The Gateway experience could be divided into two categories: Learning and Fellowship.
The activities organized for us to meet fellow classmates, faculty and staff were very well planned and helpful. The ice cream social, student life fair, mentoring group retreat and all the lunches provided created a friendly and welcoming environment. In the two weeks we had there were plenty of opportunities to become part of this new community and begin building new friendships. In addition to the social activities we worshiped together in the daily chapels. Even though there were still some new faces among us, by the end of the second week we were able to come together to worship and be united with one another in Christ. What an amazing community!
For the learning aspect of Gateway there were many sessions planned. We had a class on Hermeneutics, Logos training, research sessions for MTS students and a series of sermons for M.Div. students. It was somewhat exhausting and I was definitely ready for the long weekend after the two weeks. However, I also found it extremely helpful. Not only was the information interesting and were the professors engaging, but it was an easy transition back into the classroom, instead of jumping right into papers and mass amounts of reading and research.
Upon coming to CTS, I’m sure we all had different expectations and hopes for what Gateway would be like. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine why the two weeks were necessary. I was fully expecting this two week orientation to be long and unnecessarily dragged out. But at no point during Gateway did I get this feeling. Both aspects of Gateway—learning and fellowship—were equally important in helping us become part of this community and preparing us for the years ahead.