Emmy Kegler ’07
At graduation, I knew I wanted to pursue a call to ministry, but also that I needed a break from school. I took three years off from academic life to save money for seminary, to explore my call more fully, and to acquire the elusive “real world experience” so often talked about! I moved into my own apartment, served as Sunday School director at a local church, and worked for 1517 Media (then Augsburg Fortress). Those three years were deeply formational. I read and studied whatever I wanted, particularly around the emerging/emergent church movement, missional ecclesiology, and “theology from the margins.” The plan was to take two years, but I began to doubt whether I wanted to pursue my call in a denomination that wasn’t sure I, as a queer woman, was a valid candidate for ministry. The surge of support after the Churchwide Assembly in 2009 propelled me back to finishing my seminary application. Although I felt like I’d let myself and others down by waiting three years, I ended up entering seminary at the same time as nine other incredible women who have become my best friends and biggest supporters, so I am very grateful that I made the “mistake” of not going to seminary sooner.
I came to Olaf afraid of my sexuality, afraid of my passion for the church, and afraid of my call to ministry. Instead of facing rejection or polite tolerance, I found in the chapel & in religion classes that I was welcomed and celebrated. After being the “weird religious kid” all through high school I found a place where my interest in biblical languages and practical theology was encouraged and supported. In the roots of Lutheran theology I found an expansive place made for me to live into what it meant to be freed from the law and freed for the neighbor. I can’t imagine where I would be without the experiences I had at Olaf.