Student Spotlight: Olivia Busby T’21

Olivia Busby T’21

  • Major: Master of Divinity with a specialization in Social Justice and Advocacy
  • Launch Career Community: Religion, Theology & Ministry
  • Launch Identity/Affinity Communities:
  • Ethnic/Racial Heritage
  • Faith, Religion and Spirituality
  • Gender & Sexuality
  • Limited Resources
  • Visible/Invisible Disabilities
  •  Clubs: Black Ministerial Caucus (Treasurer)

Where were you born and raised?

I was born and raised in Ohio.

What attracted you to Drew?

I was attracted to the opportunity to study theology with a community that seemed to be committed to creative thought with the added bonus of not being worried about the financial toll of higher education.

At first I thought the Master of Divinity program might not be the right fit since I was not interested in congregational work but I realized I wanted to work with spiritual communities whether in or outside of the church and this degree would get me closer to that work.

What is it about theology that draws you to it?

I enjoy theology because, at the heart of it, it’s about storytelling. Our existence is made up of stories  that are life-giving and liberating. Storytelling gets at the heart of meaning and theology is the study of some of the oldest stories ever told.

Have you done any internships?

I was an intern for the University of Dayton’s Human Rights Center. A group of us travelled to Ferguson, MO for a couple of weeks and interviewed residents and activists on the aftermath of Mike Brown’s murder and the protest around it. I helped with logistics, interviewing, transcribing and documenting storytelling.

I was also an intern for The Civilians, a theater company in New York City. I helped interview and transcribe interviews for The Lobby Project, which is a collaboration with the Encores! Off Center performances in City Center’s Grand Tier lobby. I also had an opportunity to read and provide feedback on several screenplays submitted to The Civilians.

Have you done any NYC, Short or LongTRECS or study abroad experiences?

I hope to do the Healthcare and Human Development in South Africa ShortTREC this summer to examine the relationship between global health and religion, especially related to indigenous, holistic medicine.

Do you have any mentors at Drew?

Many of the professors in the Theo school have been great mentors, especially Dr. Althea Spencer-Miller and Dr. Traci West.

 What are some of your favorite memories of Drew?

Some of my favorite memories are conversations I’ve had with peers outside of class.

What is something you are most proud of?

I’m most proud of the fact that I have committed to replacing fear in my life with joy and inner peace.

Do you have any hobbies or interests you would like to share?

I write screenplays, poetry and I journal, and have interests in tarot, astrology, music and nature.

What is the issue(s) in the world that you are you most passionate about?

The issue in the world I am most passionate about is our disconnection from the earth, nature, land, and our bodies as a result of various oppressive systems, structures, states and ways of being.

What are your career goals and where would you like to be in 5 years?

My career goals and dreams are centered around storytelling, working with the land/earth/nature, marginalized communities, creativity, and spirituality.  In five years, I hope to be committed to reducing fear in my life and begin seeing the results of all of this in my community.

In general, what advice would you give first-year students?

Cultivate a space that allows you to feel safe to explore, act, and envision all that you are and want to be.




Posted by Yasmin Acosta
Yasmin Acosta Launch Catalyst Yasmin Acosta