Rev. Miki Mathioudakis, a Master of Communications (1985) and Master of Divinity (2000) alumna, was exposed to CTS early in life. As a 14-year-old 8th grade student, she began performing in the repertory theatre at CTS, which used to be housed in Shelton auditorium. Her time in these productions led her to falling in love with the CTS community.
In the early 1980s, as Rev. Mathioudakis pursued her passion for theater, she also knew God had a call on her life. She thought of nowhere else but CTS to pursue her spiritual journey, sensing a call to serve the unchurched. Rev. Mathioudakis saw that many involved in the theater did not have church affiliations, and she felt called to serve them. For her, CTS represented an intersection of spirituality and the arts, as many of the performances dealt with a person’s relationship with God, with others, and with oneself.
Rev. Mathioudakis initially began to pursue an MDiv degree. However, with her heart towards serving the unchurched, she did not believe ordination was a necessary part of her path. As a result, she pursued a masters degree in communications, graduating from CTS in May of 1985. Although her passion for the theatre waned over time, she remained concerned about members of the theatre community not having spiritual support.
Some years later, Rev. Mathioudakis was called back to CTS to finish what she started. She shared, “I knew I had to go back to seminary to get my MDiv, but I was unsure if I would be able to do so. I had not completed CPE [Clinical Pastoral Education] as a student and required an additional 45 credit hours to complete my degree.” She said she prayed to God, saying, “If you want me to do this, you have to do it.” With that, she was able to move forward and was ultimately awarded a full scholarship.
In reflecting on her experience at CTS, Rev. Mathioudakis shared that many of her professors had a great impact on her personal and spiritual development: “I recall the counseling courses I took with Felicity Kelcourse, a course on death and dying with Bernie Lyon, preaching with Ron Allen, and theology with Clark Williamson. They really turned my head inside out and upside down. They challenged my thinking… My time at CTS forced me to be inclusive in my writing and in my speaking, which has helped me to think more about inclusion in other ways, too.”
Rev. Mathioudakis currently serves as the Staff Chaplain, BCC (Board Certified Chaplain) at Ascension St. Vincent Women’s Hospital. Her pathway towards chaplaincy began many years before during her time in the Indiana arts community, to whom she considered herself the self-appointed chaplain. After graduating, she taught college part-time and served as an adjunct faculty member, working as well at Community Hospital and doing improv for different organizations to change the stigma on AIDS education, counseling, mental health, and sexual harassment. She also performed professionally as a member of Actors’ Equity.
In her current role, Rev. Mathioudakis minsters to mothers, fathers, and families with high risk pregnancies. She said that many she ministers to often pray for miracles. However, she has learned that miracles often look different than expected. She said it might be that a baby who was not expected to live survives and goes home; in more painful situations, it might be that a precious baby survives delivery and dies in its mother’s arms. In both cases, Rev. Mathioudakis said she has seen how these experiences can bring together families that hadn’t spoken in years. That, too, she insisted, is a miracle. During difficult times, Rev. Mathioudakis is blessed to come along side these families to help them understand that God is at work even through their pain. When babies die, she said, families wrestle with why it happened. “I cannot theologically wrap my mind around why babies die, but I can be present with families who are grieving,” Rev. Mathioudakis said. “I can give them hope that they will get through this, I can listen to them tell their stories and point them toward a loving Creator or family and friends who will journey with them.”
Reflecting further on how her seminary education impacts her current role, Rev. Mathioudakis shared that her education at CTS opened her eyes and heart in a whole new way. A lasting lesson, she explained, has been learning to recognize that no matter someone’s actions or the way they present themselves, whether we agree with their beliefs or not, they are still a child of God. She said that her journey at CTS taught her to begin seeing others from God’s eyes and not her own.
Exhibiting the connectivity of our CTS alumni, Miki shared that recent graduate Diana Bush-Harris (MDiv, 2020) just began her residency at her hospital. This, she said, came at just the right time, as Rev. Mathioudakis had been the sole chaplain for several months during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We wish Rev. Mathioudakis and Diana the best as they continue to minister and counsel to those experiencing the precious process of birthing life and at times the challenging transitions of those lives.
Learn more about CTS’s MDiv program, which prepares leaders for chaplaincy, ordained ministry, and many other forms of spiritual care and community leadership.
Also included in the October 2020 Christian Theological Seminary Connection
- The 2020 Fall Semester is Underway - Check out this video celebrating the fall semester!
- Faith & Action Project October 2020 Newsletter - Read the newest edition of the Faith & Action Project’s monthly newsletter!
- Faith & Action Project Celebrates Five Years - In response to the alarming rates of poverty in Indianapolis, which remain far above the national averages, CTS’s Faith & Action Project launched in 2015 to ignite a collaborative, interfaith, and inclusive movement for well-being and justice in the Indianapolis community. This year, the Project celebrates five years of impactful and transformative work as it looks […]
- CTS Doctor of Ministry Program Thrives - CTS began offering the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree in 1968, becoming one of the first ATS-accredited seminaries to do so. Since then, the program has graduated more than 300 distinguished students serving in a wide variety of ministry settings, including congregations, denominational and ecumenical ministries, chaplaincy, educational institutions, and not-for-profit organizations. After a significant […]
- CTS Leads the Way as a Green Seminary - In step with CTS’s longstanding concern for matters of ecological justice and sustainability, Prof. Felicity Kelcourse began working in 2016 with members of the student body, faculty, and staff toward CTS’s certification as a Green Seminary. This effort led to the formation of the CTS Green Team, which now works to more fully integrate eco-justice […]
- Alumni Board Profile: Rev. Miki Mathioudakis - Rev. Miki Mathioudakis, a Master of Communications (1985) and Master of Divinity (2000) alumna, was exposed to CTS early in life. As a 14-year-old 8th grade student, she began performing in the repertory theatre at CTS, which used to be housed in Shelton auditorium. Her time in these productions led her to falling in love […]