Thursday, August 4th, 2022
T. James Fernley, III (1947-1974) was a seminarian at what is now known as Episcopal Divinity School (“EDS”). Following the untimely death of Jim Fernley on June 7, 1974, his family and friends established a memorial fund for seminary students. Generous contributions allowed the fund to expand its scope of scholarships for this fund that was previously administered by a
Board of Trustees which included among them the Rector of St. Thomas’ Church, Whitemarsh. The Board of Trustees transferred the management of the funds of the T. James Fernley, III Memorial Fund (“Fernley Fund”) to The Church Foundation in 2005 and arranged for the scholarships to be administered by the Aid to Theological Students Funds Committee of the
Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania.
“Since that transfer as of June 30, 2005, scholarships have been distributed and the fund balance has grown from $227,868.96 to $439,289.21 as of June 30, 2022.
Debora Brown, postulant (top left)
Seminary: Seminary of the Southwest
Debora has over 20 years experience as a social worker practicing in the field of child welfare. In addition to her professional work, Debora is a lay leader, speaker, teacher, and Eucharist Minister. She has a passion for leading and growing seeds of spiritual development in her parish and community.
Debora earned her Bachelor of Social Work from Temple University and her Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2017, she received the Children’s Crusader Award in recognition of her distinguished work as a social worker in the City of Philadelphia. Debora is currently a postulant in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. She is pursuing a
Master of Divinity at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas.
Chris Micklewright, candidate (top middle)
Seminary: Virginia Theological Student
Chris Micklewright is a postulant for holy orders in the Diocese of Pennsylvania. Chris and his wife, Heather, were members of the Church of the Good Samaritan for more than 14 years, where they fell in love with the Episcopal liturgy and tradition. During that time, Chris served as a youth leader, a vestry member, and a small group leader. Chris has also taught the youth confirmation class for several years, to include writing original curriculum which is now being used at other churches. Chris and Heather have been blessed with three beautiful sons, Corin (10), Elias (8), and Desmond (5). In down time, Chris enjoys reading, hiking and biking, homeimprovement projects, and playing board games with family and friends. The Micklewright family also took an epic road trip in the summer of 2022, visiting more than 15 national park sites between Virginia and Montana.
Professionally, Chris holds a PhD in mathematics from Bryn Mawr College, and he taught at DeSales University, Eastern University, and Penn State before being called to ordained ministry (though he is still deeply interested in the connections between mathematical philosophy and Christian theology). Chris is currently in his third and final year of a Masters of Divinity program at Virginia Theological Seminary. During the time in Virginia, Chris has been blessed to serve at St. James' Episcopal Church at Mt. Vernon, where he has learned much about ministry, pastoral care, and preaching. Chris and his family are looking forward to returning to
Pennsylvania in the summer of 2023, and to serving in the Diocese of Pennsylvania.
Emily Given, postulant (top right)
Seminary: Church Divinity School of the Pacific
Emily Given is a postulant to the priesthood and part-time student at Church Divinity School of the Pacific. She is an avid gardener, mixed media iconographer, and parent of two remarkable humans (and one bossy corgi-mix). Emily currently serves as the Director of Christian Formation at St. David’s Church, Radnor, where she is passionate about inviting people deeper into a life in Christ through meaningful worship, joyful community, and intentional study. Emily is a willing partner in adventure, especially if it
includes live music, the beach, or meeting new people. She will be completing her Clinical Pastoral Education at Paoli Hospital this fall and working in partnership with the Wissahickon Deanery for contextual learning throughout the year.
Susan Hammer, postulant (bottom left)
Seminary: Moravian Theological Seminary
Susan is a lifelong Christian and an Episcopalian and she has been a middle school Social Studies educator for twenty-six years. This last decade, she was more involved at church and took on various leadership opportunities. With her family’s support, she seriously discerned a call to serve God. Her time of discernment culminated with her family’s belief in her which
motivated the pursuit of ordination to the priesthood.
She attends Moravian Theological Seminary (MTS) in Bethlehem, PA. MTS has helped her to grow, explore, and study with people of other faiths and paths. This ecumenical community is providing a well-rounded education with its diverse courses and forming her as a 21st-century minister who cares for all. Susan states “this scholarship will ease my financial burden at
seminary, allowing us to help with Emily’s senior year at Temple University and the anticipation for Ryan to attend college in 2022. I hope my continued studies will allow me to learn and share the love of God as a way to honor the memory of T. James Fernley, III. Thank you for supporting my studies while also easing the financial burden of seminary. I want to express my appreciation as the recipient of the T. James Fernley, III scholarship for the 2021-2022 academic year.”
Amy Crawford, postulant (bottom middle)
Seminary: General Theological Seminary
Amy Crawford has, for the last 20 years, worked in the intersection of ministry and psychology. She holds a Masters in Clinical and Counseling Psychology, with a concentration in adolescent psychology and pastoral counseling. Amy has worked as a trauma and spirituality therapist for
youth and young adults; has worked as Associate Pastor of Spiritual Care and Counseling at Liquid Church, a top-100 fastest growing church in the US, and is currently in the process of becoming ordained in The Episcopal Church and receiving an M.Div from General Theological Seminary. She also consults as an organizational psychologist and as a trauma specialist to
various organizations, including seminaries and para-church organizations. Amy, along with her husband, are the adoptive parents to four teenage daughters. In her (few) spare moments, she is a classically trained professional pianist who enjoys playing Bach; an avid native-plants
gardener, and is passionate about educating others on liturgy and The Book of Common Prayer.
Kathryn Brossa, postulant (bottom right)
Seminary: The General Theological Seminary
Kathryn Brossa is a postulant for holy orders to the priesthood in the Diocese of Pennsylvania. Originally from Houston, Texas, almost anyone who meets Kathryn will readily note she has 'no accent,' which she credits to her living the past thirteen years in the Philadelphia area, among other things. Raised in the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, confirmed in the ELCA, agnostic through her junior year of college when she met Roman Catholicism through Chaucer, and finally settling happily in the Episcopal Church with her husband, Ryan, in 2016, Kathryn found her way to deepening relationship with Jesus Christ through many spiritual scrapes and bruises where God never failed to scoop her up, brush her off, and point her to the next great adventure.
Kathryn's adventure with Christ continues in Fall 2022 as she begins her studies at General Theological Seminary in their inaugural class of the Distanced Learning Master of Divinity program. While engaging in coursework and ministry experiences, Kathryn will maintain her
full-time position as a member of academic administration at the University of Pennsylvania, balancing work, school, and the rest of life with God's help! The generous award of the Fernley scholarship will help to cover books and travel costs for the program's intensive, in-person weeks on the Close.
As a new seminarian, Kathryn's ministry experiences consist only of the work she's done at her home parish of the Church of St. Alban, Roxborough, where she's served on Altar Guild, as an acolyte and lay reader, as a vestry member, and Sunday School teacher. She's looking forward to starting her field placement soon!—though she'll visit St. Alban's as often as she can.
At the heart of Kathryn's hopes for her call and the future of her ministry is the ardent wish to bring those on the margins—be it society's margins or the Church’s—to the blissful unity of the Eucharist, particularly those who, like her, have experienced rejection and discrimination under the pretense of upholding the Christian faith.