Krystel Porter

I came to Fuller knowing I wanted to work with children overseas in some capacity, but also knowing I needed additional theological training and discernment to get there. When I took a course in Children at Risk with Doug McConnell and Dave Scott my first quarter, I thought, Yes! This is it! My second quarter, taking a Transformational Development class with Bryant Myers, I was even more intrigued—realizing that working with the most vulnerable children through the kind of international development lens Bryant presented to us made the most sense.

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After graduating I participated in the first-ever apprenticeship program between Fuller and World Vision International, which turned into employment with WVI for six years, two of them in Zambia. My work for WVI involved child-focused programming involving peacebuilding, child protection, and education/life skills. Now I work for the Faith to Action Initiative, equipping and mobilizing churches, nonprofits, and other Christian groups to engage in responsible best practices related to orphan care on a global scale. We highlight the importance of family-strengthening in order to empower families to keep their children, rather than placing them in institutional care—principles rooted in best practices first introduced to me while at Fuller.

Sierra Leone with World Vision

I refer back to my Fuller experience frequently—both professionally and personally. It provided a theoretical and theological framework for understanding how to come alongside God’s work around compassion and justice, not see myself as someone bringing the answers to new places. Classes like Thinking Missiologically with Doug McConnell were case study-based and practical, equipping me to deal with the realities and challenges of living in sub-Saharan Africa—to embrace it with humility, grace, and a teachable spirit while getting to experience the messiness of cross-cultural ministry and how that shapes my understanding of God. Bryant Myers, who became another mentor to me, never romanticized development work. He was honest about its ups and downs, which better prepared me for it. Life-giving conversations with Doug and Bryant, both inside and outside the classroom, provided incredible insight into the complexities of cross-cultural engagement.

My time at Fuller was not an easy time, but it was a rich one. The exposure to so many different denominations and perspectives was hard, challenging much of what I believed—but Fuller does a good job of deconstructing what you think you know, in order to build your faith up again. Because of my time at Fuller, I stepped into a more mature and authentic faith and for that I am grateful.

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Explore the surprising diversity of resources available to you through Fuller’s 3 schools, 18 degree programs, and 16 centers and institutes—through the voices of students who have experienced them

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