Graduate Profile: Sarah Belflower, MDiv '21

May 18, 2021
Sarah Belflower, MDiv '21 / Courtesy photo

HDS communications reached out to our 2021 graduating students to hear from them in their own words about their experiences at HDS, the people who've helped and inspired them along their grad school journeys, and their plans for the future.

Memorable Moment

Asking to just name one seems impossible, so I'll name a few: Hosting Friendsgiving dinners with Alex Jensen, where we would spend the weeks leading up to it manically asking people about their break plans to make sure they had somewhere to go.

Basically every single HUUMS service and lunch in the Rock after. Getting to be on an incredible HUUMS board with some of my favorite people, who managed the transition to virtual life like rock stars (not to brag). Every single post-lunch debrief in the Rock Lounge, where we swore we were going to get some last minute work done before afternoon classes, but we would just end up talking instead. (See also: first floor AHTL study sessions). The innumerable amount of times I learned something from my peers that changed me for the better.

Favorite Class or Professor

I don't think I can narrow down a single class as my favorite since I loved them all for different reasons, but if I had to it would probably be "Religion and Neoliberalism" with Prof. Todne Thomas. I took it my first semester when I was still pretty sure that HDS had admitted me by mistake and I would flunk out any minute.

Prof. Thomas is an amazing scholar, and I learned so much that I would carry with me throughout grad school, so I could just leave it at that, but there's more. I remember getting my first draft of my final paper back and was devastated by the amount of red marks all over it, thinking that I couldn't even keep the ruse up for an entire semester.

But Prof. Thomas gave some of the most incredible feedback and guidance, and getting my final back with an A and her note about my improvements was definitely my first "Climb Every Mountain" moment in grad school.

I also can't forget to mention Frau Grundler-Whitacre. There's no way I could have learned a year's worth of German in eight weeks without her being such an amazing professor. For me to come out of the Summer Language Program with a sustained interest in the German language and German culture, instead of wanting to just get my language requirement and move on, is how I know she's an amazing instructor.

Who Would You Like to Thank?

My Granny. I could write a thousand theses worth of words about her and it would never be enough to thank her. If you ever had more than one conversation with me you inevitably heard me talk about her. There's no way I would have ever been in spitting distance of HDS if it weren't for everything she and my Papa have done for our family. Her love and kindness, her faith, her incredible work ethic—if I turn out to be half the woman she is, I'll die happy.

I'm the most proud of myself when I see her influence in me. I treasured every single call, letter, and care package, and always kept a picture of her and my Papa on my desk, as a reminder of who I want to make proud.

What I Hope to Be Remembered By

Honestly? My jokes.