I’m a Chicagoan and a Southerner, and those two describe a great deal of my life’s journey, which has taken me from my fundamentalist Baptist roots in Tennessee and North Carolina to a very different, continuously evolving perspective on faith and life in Chicago.

My education began in staunchly fundamentalist schools and I received a BS in Interdisciplinary studies from Tennessee Temple University (which is no longer) in Chattanooga, Tennessee. All my questions led me to move from the South to Chicago to attend Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where I completed my Master of Divinity degree in 2008. (If I was going to question my faith, I wanted to do it as thoroughly as I could and engage the best of conservative thinkers and arguments.)

I currently work in administration at McCormick Theological Seminary; volunteer with Center for Inclusivity; serve on the Vestry, facilitate the Adult Forum, and occasionally preach at Trinity Church; and plot goodness with Gilead, a non-traditional church plant in my neighborhood. I’m also active in Chicago’s vibrant Storytelling scene and have been honored to share a story at OUTspoken in addition to other local venues (Do Not Submit Chicago, Story Lab).

I’m an ENTP/J and a mix of Enneagram 7-1-4. I’m passionate about stories, equality, building understanding between conservatives and LGBTQIA communities, sunshine, clarity, advancing goodness, subverting injustice, and loving well. Every part of my journey has given me gifts I’m grateful for, and I hope that in my life (and this blog) I can set a table that invites connection. My pronouns are she/her/hers.

The best introduction to this blog is the first post.

For questions or speaking requests, I can be contacted at jennifer.ellen@gmail.com.


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