Finding Peace

Bonnie Solivan, a proud “Nuyorican” – a term denoting a Puerto Rican residing in New York City – has a unique journey shaped by her parents’ missionary work across diverse locations such as New York City, Michigan, Puerto Rico, New Jersey, and South America.

Bonnie’s parents were not only missionaries but also pastors and scholars – the first in their families to obtain college and graduate degrees. Bonnie, baptized in a South American river by her father, experienced a shift in her faith during her time at a predominantly white Christian college in Michigan. “I stepped away from some of the norms and traditions I grew up with,” she says.

Yet God assured her during challenging times: “There’s purpose. I have a road for you,” she recalls hearing from Him.

After facing personal challenges, including marriage, two children, and divorce, Bonnie sought a tangible connection with God. “I said, ‘Lord, I’m wrestling. I’m wrestling with whether You really truly exist, or whether I’m a pawn in this and You actually don’t care,” she expressed. She made a pact with God, listing five specific needs, and witnessed God fulfilling each one, bringing profound peace and a sense of His presence into her life.

Bilingual Delivered Master of Arts 

Embarking on a career as a bilingual social worker in Connecticut for over 15 years, Bonnie aimed to be a role model, offering resources and support to fellow Latinos. “For me, it was always important that I maintain who I am, my culture and my language,” says Bonnie.

A shift in career to instructional design, curriculum, and assessment followed, leading her to her current role as Director of Instructional Design for Connecticut Community Colleges.

Despite a desire to attend seminary, Bonnie prioritized providing for her children as a single mother. When she learned about the Bilingual Delivered Master of Arts in Ministry and available scholarships at Asbury Seminary, she knew it was time for her to fulfill her dream to attend seminary. “I truly need to be fed in a different way,” Bonnie expressed. Enrolling in the Bilingual Master of Arts in Ministry in 2023, she navigated the challenges of starting a new position and a seminary program simultaneously, guided by the encouragement of Dr. Danny Roman-Gloro. “No, you got this, You can do this,” he reassured her.

A Light in a Secular Culture

“There’s no more Sunday school. You barely see even a time of devotion or a time of prayer in our churches,” Bonnie observes about local churches.

Driven by a desire to deepen her understanding of the Bible and to be a light in a secular culture, Bonnie joined seminary with a mission to illuminate her surroundings. Her leadership extends beyond the church, involving a Christian book club and providing support to students, staff, and faculty in a state institution where discussions about God are often avoided. “I can do that no matter where I’m at. If He puts me here, knowing who I am, then I have nothing to fear being the light of Jesus Christ in this institution,” says Bonnie. 

In her role as Director of Instructional Design, Bonnie aids individuals in utilizing online learning technologies, all while advancing toward her Bilingual Delivered Master of Arts in Ministry. She envisions progressing to an M.Div. after completing her M.A., recognizing that her seminary education equips her to serve and shape the community around her.

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