Kevin Soja

Students (and Mr. Norton) in Greta Dorsey's Pro Vita class, Meaning on the Mountain

Berkshire’s Pro Vita program provides our Bears with a unique platform for continued self-discovery and personal growth. It also allows for alumni like Greta Dorsey ’14 to return to the Mountain to share an interest and help prepare students for the world ahead.

Currently pursuing a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, Dorsey recently partnered with current faculty member Jim Norton to teach the Pro Vita course, Meaning on the Mountain. Their class introduced students to easily accessible methods to create balance and alleviate stress within Berkshire’s inspiring natural setting. For Dorsey, this was a seminal opportunity to positively impact the lives of her curious Pro Vita students in much the same way that Berkshire transformed her own.

While she credits Berkshire with cultivating a rich passion for the environment, feeling connected to the outdoors was not new to Dorsey. She always loved outdoor adventures during childhood, and her family instilled an appreciation for houseplants and a desire to care for the environment. After Berkshire, Dorsey majored in women’s students and minored in environmental studies at Colby College.

Read the Q&A below to learn more about Dorsey’s return to the Mountain this winter and her big plans for the future.

Preaching a sermon over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend on simple kindness and inclusion at Norfield Congregational Church in Weston, Conn.

What inspired you to teach a Pro Vita course? 

I felt inspired to teach a Pro Vita course because a few years after graduating, I realized how wonderful Berkshire was for me. After I graduated, I missed the Mountain and access to the outdoors. Hiking the Mountain was a way for me to relieve stress as a student. I wish I had more healthy coping mechanisms and stress management tools such as hiking when I went to college. My wish was to teach current students some of these skills to help them currently and after they graduate. 

When did you first realize that you wanted to attend divinity school?
I knew I would attend divinity school since graduating from Berkshire. My father has encouraged me to pursue higher education in religious studies since I began to show interest in religion as a member of BASIC (Brothers and Sisters in Christ). While I complete my Masters in Divinity, I am partnering with a Congregational Church to pursue ordination. After I graduate from Fuller Theological Seminary, I hope to have also finished the process of becoming an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and my Clinical Pastoral Education, the last step of ordination, and my divinity degree, which will enable me to work as a hospital chaplain.

Greta, 2nd from left, hiking in Baker Creek, Id., with her sisters, mother, and a family friend

How has your Berkshire experience impacted your life?
Berkshire has deeply and positively impacted my life. Attending Berkshire was a saving grace for me as I struggled with my mental health in public school. Choosing Berkshire was the first adult decision that enabled me to take responsibility and ownership of my life. 
If you could offer any advice to today’s students, what would it be?
Breathe! You live in a beautiful place; try to enjoy it while you have it! I promise you will miss it when you leave. Look up from your phone and take in the beauty of the Mountain and fresh air. You got this!