Bussabarger called to Connersville
Many people believe they have been called to fill a specific role or career in life. Often these individuals find their calling later in life after they have already begun to settle into their chosen profession.
For Corydon native Kara Bussabarger, this couldn’t have been more true.
On May 19, Bussabarger graduated from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree.
‘I always had a desire to help people,’ Bussabarger said.
The seminary’s mission is to educate men and women and promote their participation in redemptive ministry, as well as spread the teachings of Jesus Christ throughout the United States and the world.
The majority of students who attend the Louisville seminary are working toward a Master of Divinity degree that will allow them to preach the Word to others and also to administer the sacred sacrament.
More than 150 years old, the seminary was founded in 1853 in order to respond to the growing needs of the community.
The first branch of the seminary was located in Danville, Ky., and the Louisville branch followed in 1893. The two merged in 1901.
Bussabarger is a 1994 graduate of North Harrison High School and she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in criminology with a minor in psychology from Indiana State University in 1998.
Now at 37, she said the degrees she received in the past will directly correlate to what she has been called to do now.
Bussabarger said she believed ministry was her calling during a Bible study titled ‘How to Hear from God’ led by Tim Johnson, pastor at Pfrimmer’s Chapel United Methodist Church near Corydon.
‘I felt God calling me to preach and teach,’ Bussabarger said.
Soon after her experience, she talked to her husband, Rob, and ultimately decided to quit her job as the public relations manager at the Louisville Zoo.
‘We’re excited for the opportunity that God has placed before us,’ Bussabarger said, adding that the couple is thrilled to be using its gifts and sharing the Gospel.
After their talk, Bussabarger went on to become the director of outreach ministries at Pfrimmer’s Chapel and also the lead pastor at Laconia United Methodist Church as well as Depauw United Methodist Church in Elizabeth.
The Master of Divinity degree is not one to be approached lightly. It is an intensive three-year program involving 90 credit hours that covers not only book and field work, but also forces a student to come to a deeper understanding of their faith.
Courses like biblical studies, history and ethics have allowed Bussabarger to delve deeper into her faith and her occupation as a pastor.
During the 160th commencement of the Louisville Seminary, Bussabarger also received the Melanie Lane Preaching Award. This award was presented to her for being an outstanding female preacher.
‘It was an honor to receive it,’ she said. ‘I felt privileged that I was chosen. It kind of confirmed for me that I was called to preach and teach.’
Now that she has graduated from seminary, Bussabarger has been chosen to become pastor at Grand Avenue United Methodist Church in Connersville. She was commissioned in June and began work there July 1.
‘She helped revolutionize our church … her heart was outreach. She helped us think of creative ways to reach people,’ Johnson said, adding that the congregation was sad to see her go but her mission at Pfrimmer’s Chapel had been fulfilled and she was needed elsewhere.
Bussabarger said that her first day at Grand Avenue went well.
‘I’m excited where God’s leading me,’ she said. ‘I’m praying that my gifts will match the church and glorify the kingdom of God.’