When Noah Quinton (MDiv, ’15) arrived at Memphis Theological Seminary in the fall of 2012, he already had an interest in hospital chaplaincy. During college at Belmont University, he’d volunteered at a children’s hospital in Nashville. “So I was definitely interested in hospital chaplaincy coming into seminary,” he says. “I really took an interest in a lot of the pastoral care classes. I took a lot of classes with Dr. Ramsey, and really kept an interest in that while I was there.”
When Quinton graduated from MTS, he started his chaplaincy residency at Methodist Hospital in Memphis, where he served for a year.
“What I love about chaplaincy is that I get to work with people from all walks of life, all faith backgrounds, all types of beliefs, and that really is interesting to me.” Quinton says. “And I think that’s a little bit different than congregational ministry just because I get to meet people from every faith imaginable, as well as people of no faith who are still open and willing to talk to me. We talk about what does give them purpose, what do they believe in, what values do they hold, what keeps them going. I like that, and I like that each day is something new, somebody new, and it pushes me and challenges me to have to think creatively and be aware of different faiths, and ask questions to help me understand better.”
After his residency, Quinton worked night shifts at the Regional One Hospital. “When I was working the night shifts at Regional One, I learned really quickly that a big part of what I was going to do was be with the staff at night. I might not be able to visit with patients and family as often on the night shift, but the staff are always going to be there and they’re always going to be up.”
After Regional One, Quinton worked at West Cancer Center, providing spiritual support to patients, families, and staff. “The patients and the families come first,” Quinton says. “We’ve got to take care of our patients, and we need to take care of their families who are providing care to them. And staff support is still important. Working in healthcare can be really challenging. We’re faced with the reality of death and folks that are dying, and folks that are sick and suffering.”
Quinton, who is originally from Sturgis, Kentucky, and is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, says that Memphis Theological Seminary prepared him well for this work: “I was part of a diverse group of classmates and professors who came from different walks of life and we were all involved in a variety of different ministries. I think that really helped me. I lean on that a lot of times in helping me understand a patient’s church experience or faith experience,” Quinton says.
“At MTS, I was able to learn a lot about the Black church experience. And a lot of the patients that I visit with, that’s an important part of who they are. Even if it’s not a part of who they currently are, it has shaped them. Because I am white and come from a white church experience, that was really helpful, and really has stuck with me. That experience was a really great part of being at MTS and I’m really thankful for it.”
Quinton recently began work as a chaplain at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We wish him the best!
One Cumberland Presbyterian couple has been so inspired by our work and alums like Noah Quinton that they have offered to match up to $70,000 for all donations recorded before our fiscal year ends on July 31st. We are grateful to God for this blessing, and we hope you will click here to make a gift to support Memphis Theological Seminary.