Sarah Spies— Alumni Profile | Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Sarah Spies

    Sarah Spies

    Class of 2013

    Majors: Theology/Catechetics/Youth Ministry

    Sarah Spies chose Franciscan University for two important reasons:“The Theology Program is so strong, with key players in Biblical scholarship, sacraments, and Mariology–and it’s coupled with a very practical Catechetics program to learn methodology, building curriculum, and how to work in a parish and do business administration.”

    Sarah credits the Franciscan theology faculty, including Dr. Donald Asci, Dr. Scott Hahn, and Dr. John Bergsma, with helping her gain a deeper understanding of the Bible and Church teachings. “There was so much I didn’t know about my faith,” she recalls. “People challenged me with the ‘issue questions’ about homosexuality and abortion and the apologetics questions like ‘How can you prove God is real?’ It drove me to find the answers–and that deepened my faith.Everything you learn about God is a reason to love him more.”

    Sarah laughs recalling other people’s concerns about her ability to make a living in theology and catechetics.“The jobs are out there.I had five job offers and got be choosy,” she says.By October after graduation, Sarah became director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary Catholic Church in League City, Texas.In this large parish south of Houston, she creates youth programs for 6 -12 graders and runs the Confirmation program.

    She truly appreciates practical insights gained from Catechetics faculty, especially Professor Bob Rice with his extensive youth ministry experience and Sister M. Johanna Paruch’s years of work as a teacher and administrator at both parish and diocesan levels.They offered Sarah insight into parish/school relationships, pastoral approaches to conflict, budgeting, fundraising and how to work with parents.“What they offered us went far beyond the content material we could learn in a classroom,” reflects Sarah.

    With a passion for the Theology of the Body, Sarah traveled with an Franciscan University mission trip to Belize to teach chastity to high school students. She was also challenged to evangelize college students on spring break in Panama City as part of the Son Life mission.“Franciscan offers incredible opportunities in the mission programs,” says Sarah. “It’s the best formation for working in the Church.”

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