Nancy Hagner ’13 was initially attracted to Princeton Seminary because of its rigorous academic instruction and diverse student body. However, now that she is serving as associate rector of Trinity Church, an historic Episcopal congregation in Princeton, New Jersey, she is most thankful for the practical training she received in preaching and speech classes.
“Almost every week, someone tells me, ‘I liked your sermon and I appreciate being able to hear you clearly and relate to what you are saying.’ I tell them that it’s my Princeton Seminary education,” said Hagner. “Preaching is one of the most important things we do as pastors because it’s one of the last places in our society where people will actually listen, perhaps to things they may not agree with. You get to challenge people’s minds and hearts, as the gospel challenges all of us.”
Hagner came to Princeton after a successful career in private banking and then as director of development for the Institute for Islamic • Christian • Jewish Studies in Baltimore, Maryland.
“As a cradle Episcopalian who came to seminary as an older person, I was already very formed in my faith,” she said. “But the experience at the Seminary—which I chose in part because it is not an Episcopal seminary—was incredibly enriching to me personally and deepened my faith in Christ.”