We’re congratulating Deb Koster, Senior Producer of Family Fire, who received her Master of Divinity degree from Calvin Theological Seminary on May 19 after 5 years of study. Deb left a long career as a registered nurse in cardiology to follow her ministry passions. "I have always had a call to ministry,” said Deb, “first in bedside nursing, then in family and marriage ministry, now in a more formal ministry role." Deb and her husband, Steven, Director of ReFrame Media, have built Family Fire from the ground up into a marriage, parenting, and relationships ministry that now encourages tens of thousands on the web and social media. Deb responded to God’s call to engage in ministry at a new level when she entered seminary.
Juggling work and caring for her family, Deb attended the seminary through a distance learning program which required her to be on campus for just one week per semester. "It was an interesting experience being a middle-aged woman in theology classes filled with young men,” Deb shares. “Many of my classmates were the ages of my own children." While distance learning allowed her to manage her professional work, coursework and practicums filled her evenings, weekends, and vacations. The programs included several major requirements. Deb completed her preaching internship at Roseland Christian Reformed Church on the southside of Chicago. "Learning to preach in the heart of the city was formative and stretching and Roseland was incredibly supportive. I have a deep love for the people of the Roseland community and my time with them has stirred a passion for enacting justice."
In addition to immense amounts of schoolwork occupying all of her free time, Deb faced other challenges. One thing she found especially discouraging and painful was the reluctance of some people to accept the leadership of women in the church. “Thankfully there are other women who have faced these obstacles before me,” said Deb. “I am so grateful for all the women clergy who have already paved the way and who continue to support other women to follow God's calling on their lives."
Family Fire is already benefiting from Deb’s experience and growth through seminary. She brings new perspective to her work with contributors and in her own writing. She feels more equipped to shape Family Fire content around the needs and prayer requests she’s hearing from readers. "I am grateful for the support of my family and friends who cheered me on in this journey." And we will continue to urge Deb on as she works toward becoming ordained in the Christian Reformed Church this fall.