Pause, Reflect, and Enjoy

Date: August 14, 2023

I was often told when beginning the journey to Virginia Seminary in the Fall of 2021, that I should take moments to pause, reflect and enjoy all that I was experiencing, because time would pass quickly, and I would find myself in Senior year before I knew it. Despite the long days in class, the library, Contextual Ministry (CXM) sites, and this summer in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), I can indeed say that the age-old adage is true; “The days are long, but the years are short.”

As I joined the administration in welcoming the incoming students last week, I reflected that while my senior year is just beginning and I have reached a much different vantage point, my ability to recall all the emotions I felt the day I first stepped into Addison Academic Center as an incoming student was easy. It still feels like yesterday I joined the ranks of the many distinguished alumni who walked these hallowed halls ahead of me. What a difference two years of formation makes! While I am entirely different in some ways, I remain the same person who desires to bring Jesus to people who feel rejected and hurt by the Church.

It is truly an honor of a lifetime to serve the student body as its President during this historic time and I look forward to the many events, forums, and gatherings the Seminary and Student Government is planning to mark the occasion. Most of all, I am looking forward to spending time with my colleagues as we continue to live into our callings and make this incredible community better each and every day.  Despite the fast-paced nature of our lives, and my Senior year, I invite you join me in taking those extra moments to pause, reflect and enjoy the beauty of community and God’s creation here on the Holy Hill.

Hayden Paul, M.Div. ’24
Student Body President

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