A s a Christian in Pakistan, I grew up being a minority. At an early age, I observed my parents’ active involvement in the church. I received a basic Christian education at home and from my local church. I was a teenager when I had a strong desire to pursue theological education.
I grew up in the north area of Pakistan where women wear Hijab. We needed to cover our faces in public, and headcover was mandatory in the church. During my church youth work, I talked to several church leaders about my desire to pursue theological studies. But I received the reply, “There is no place for women in theological education.” (In Pakistan, the church does not ordain women, and they did not have female teachers in the seminary at the time.)
In my heart, I knew God had called me for a special purpose. God’s call is irrevocable. When I was young, I needed a theologically trained woman as my mentor because I had some questions and struggles. But I could not find any females who were theologically trained in my region. Then I felt the urge that I could be a theologically trained female who could guide many women and men.
Related: Purposeful Living: Find your calling from God
After ten years of struggle, I was admitted to a seminary in South Korea. After my study, I came back to Pakistan and I applied to teach at the seminary. After two more years of struggle, I got a full-time position in the only seminary in Pakistan as the first female professor. Soon after, I completed my master of theology studies at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. Now, I am currently enrolled in PhD studies at Oxford (OCMS) as a part-time student. I have also been appointed as the first female president of the seminary in Pakistan. People discouraged me, but I always try to see myself as my Lord sees me. Through the difficulties, God never left me and he protected me.
“…for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” –Romans 11:29
I have committed my life to God’s hands. I am ready to serve God until my last breath. After submitting my life to Christ, I experienced blessings wherever I went around the world. People have also received blessings through my teaching and preaching. I feel deep joy to teach and preach the Word of God. Now I feel I am not alone. God’s presence and guidance are always with me. My life perspective is entirely changed now. I am living for my Savior alone, and I want to inspire my students. My vision is to equip women and men to know the depth of their calling and to serve faithfully so others know the hope and grace of the kingdom of God.
When I joined the seminary ten years ago, there was only one female student. Now, there are 20 female students at St. Thomas’ Theological College. My male colleagues also can see hope for the women in the church through my role. We now train our students in a positive mindset to accept and respect women in ministry. The seminary as a whole has seen visible development through the work of God’s hand in this time.
Wherever God is calling you, it is an irrevocable call. Be fearless and bold in following wherever God may lead. You never know what blessings might be around the corner for you and others through you. Praise be to God!
Pray for those pursuing theological education
Please pray for seminary students in Pakistan. Through hardship in the country, many students and their families who are on daily wages face many difficulties.
Lubna Younas serves in partnership with the Church of Pakistan as the president of the only theological seminary in the country: St. Thomas’ Theological College in Karachi. It is the backbone of the church and all Church of Pakistan ministers receive three years of theological training at the seminary before serving all over Pakistan.