Who is Kristin Hamilton?
“She’s a bossy little thing; always telling everyone how it could be done better. She is naughty and talks too much, but don’t let her catch you being mean to her friends. She is a fierce protector and she can get real mean.” – Mrs. Chicka, kindergarten teacher
Kristin lives out loud, travels without a map whenever possible, and loves working to make broken systems whole. She passionately defends those who are considered “less than,” and has a way too optimistic view of the world that is often hidden behind a thin layer of cynicism. This all makes her hugely popular with people comfortable in the status quo (not).
Growing up in an unusually multi-cultural family in eastern Washington, Kristin didn’t realize the song, “Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World” wasn’t about every family. It simply made sense that the Kingdom of God is multi-colored, multi-faceted, and incredibly diverse. Learning at the feet of her grandmothers, women who were passionate about missions and serving the community, there was no doubt in her mind that God’s love is for everyone.
As a third-generation church minister, Kristin learned that not every church or Christian viewed all people with welcome arms. While working for the State of Washington and serving in the church, she noticed that the secular workplace was often more loving and accepting of people than the church. In 2003, She made the “mistake” of asking God to break her heart over the things that break God’s heart, which started her on a wild ride.
Kristin quit her job and returned to school to quench the thirst for learning more about the ways of God. While in school, she taught government and upper level Bible classes to high school students at a small, Christian school. It was her hope that she could be a voice for embracing the multi-faceted Kingdom among her students. She learned that students were thirsty for this message, but that the messiness of it put her at odds with some administrators, parents, and pastors. This caused a crisis for Kristin as she was not sure how to continue with the message without burning out.
In 2010, Kristin felt God call her to work on her own spiritual formation before entering the fray. She enrolled at Northwest Nazarene University in the Master of Spiritual Formation program and began to meet with a spiritual director. In those two years, Kristin noticed that God was beginning to untangle her spiritual “knots” and was calling her to a new depth. It seemed like a call to activism, but she felt so ill-equipped even with her shiny new master’s degree. Conversations and a whole lot of prayer led her to enroll at George Fox Evangelical Seminary to pursue her Master of Divinity. Four years, a move to Portland, and one heck of a roller coaster ride later, she had clarity about the vocation God was giving her. In her journal she wrote, “I exist to persuade the church to fight for equality and systemic justice for all people and leave the ‘sorting’ to Jesus.”
The Doctor of Ministry in Leadership and Global Perspectives at Portland Seminary is the perfect fit for this self-proclaimed lion-hearted advocate. Kristin loves learning and is soaking in everything she can about leadership, love for people, and smashing systemic injustice. When asked what the future holds, Kristin happily responds, “I have no clue! I am just walking this road one step at a time. The whole thing has been pretty wild so far, and I tend to mess things up when I plan the trip, so I’m going to take the Spirit’s lead.”