Meet Our Seminarian
Greetings! My name is Crystal Hardin and I am in my final year at Virginia Theological Seminary. I am thrilled to be joining the St. Michael's community as a summer seminarian intern. I will be with you for eight weeks, with the exception of the time that I will be serving the Diocese of Virginia at General Convention in Austin, Texas, as a staff writer for Center Aisle (a Diocesan opinion journal on matters relevant to Convention).
By way of introduction, I was raised in rural South Alabama and spent my childhood largely unchurched, with the exception of a brief period of time spent in the Southern Baptist tradition. It wasn't until law school that I discovered the Episcopal Church, though I had no idea at the time where this discovery would lead. While in law school, I also discovered a passion for criminal defense work. I spent two years working for the University of Alabama's Capital Defense Clinic, which still stands as some of the richest, most rewarding, and painful work of my life. After law school, I had the honor to serve a year term as law clerk to a judge in the Northern District of Alabama.
The three years I spent in law school gifted me with many things: the love of a well-crafted sentence, appreciation for the many sides of any statement of fact or opinion, a heart broken open to the needs of those with few, if any, people on their side, a blossoming relationship with the Episcopal Church, and a fiancé.
In the past eight years, my life has changed dramatically. I married my husband, Bradford, moved to the DC metro area, had two beautiful girls, Lillian (age 8) and Eliot (age 6), started a photography business, and discerned a call to ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church. I served my sending parish, St. George's in Arlington, as Senior Warden on the Vestry and in various other roles. Occasionally, I write for the Virginia Episcopalian and other publications. Last summer, I completed Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where I served as a chaplain intern. Working at the NIH in this role was joyfully challenging and formative in ways that I continue to process.
I am passionate about Jesus and have a particular interest in preaching (and Homiletical studies), creation theology, and how faith speaks to profound loss, grief and suffering.
I come to you, St. Michael's, seeking to form and to be formed, to challenge and to be challenged, to lead and to be led. In the end, I am really just a person in progress (as we all are) who seeks connection, values authenticity, places a premium on inclusiveness, laughs loudly and often, and believes that life is good (even when all evidence points to the contrary). I look forward to meeting and serving you.