When Virginia “Toddy” Holeman was five years old, she wanted to be either a cowgirl or a teacher. As an adult, she decided to pursue a career in education. Throughout her life, she’s worked in churches as a Director of Christian Education, in clinics as a licensed counselor, and now as the professor of counseling and chair of the Counseling and Pastoral Care Department at Asbury Theological Seminary.
“God is the best recycler ever,” Dr. Holeman said. “When I came to Asbury Seminary to teach, all my past experiences were brought into play.”
While working as a Christian educator she encountered families experiencing crises that were out of her skill set. Finding her toolkit lacking, she earned her master’s degree in counseling.
After practicing counseling for a few years, she returned to school for her Ph.D., fully intending to return to full-time clinic work. Then God rekindled her love for teaching.
“I realized I could stay and counsel and do good work, or I could consider teaching and impact the next generation,” she said.
Dr. Holeman describes her journey to become a professor at Asbury Seminary as a miracle. She attended a national level conference for continuing education. By chance, she and Dr. Fred Van Tatenhove, then Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling and Chair of the Counseling and Pastoral Care Department at Asbury Seminary, sat next to each other.
“We got to talking and eventually that lead to them sending me information about the position and hiring me,” Dr. Holeman said.