Meet Our Graduates: Erin Graybeal

Erin Graybeal, King University
Meet Our Graduates:
Erin Graybeal
“My time at King fundamentally changed me as a person. When I began my time there, I was scared of the world hiding in a bubble protected by an ironclad worldview. My first semester at King completely obliterated that in Foundations of Christian thought and practice. I was always curious, but in a rule-following kind of way. Most of my real, deep questions were suddenly no longer taboo and that was exciting and dizzying for me. What would I do without a “Solid” foundation? What if that foundation was never really stable at all?
For some unknown reason, Dr. Don Michael Hudson saw a spark in me and invited me to join the Philosophy and Religion Department in redesigning the Foundations course. He wanted to support students like me to ask new questions without fear in small groups of our peers. He also wanted to have a solid set of readings and questions that supported that thinking and work. I had the enormous privilege of co-designing, being a teaching assistant, head teaching assistant, and nationally presenting at conferences for that course. This allowed me to continue learning by pairing my major-education-with time to continue wrestling with questions of faith, culture, and pragmatism and get paid for it. I would not be the educator or human I am today without that time.
In a space surrounded by the freedom to ask questions, and professors and friends that really cared for my growth, I was able to change for the better. King provided me with the opportunity to not know-it-all and be ok with the gray of life. It also offered me the uncommon opportunity to work hand-in-hand with world class professors to take on tasks and learn skills I had no business having by normal standards. I believe I am a part of something bigger while simultaneously believing I can change the world because of King. I can hold two opposing thoughts or opinions because of King. I can hold my own in a room of experts because of King. I know I would never have had those experiences at another University, and I remain proud of my education there.”
The full story is that Erin approached me after a class and said, “You know, I think this class could be better.” I hired here right there to help me design a better class, and she did. Her prints are all over the Foundations course, and she helped me design this class over her four years at King. This has taught me a great lesson as a professor–students should be designing our classes as well. We are deeply grateful that Erin chose to study at King, and I look forward to all the good and great things she will do. Her works and design continue to educate 100’s of college students every semester.