CONWAY, Ark. (October 3, 2018) – Eva Englert-Jessen ’12 has begun work as the program coordinator for the Center for Calling and Christian Leadership at Hendrix College, part of the Miller Center for Vocation, Ethics, and Calling.
This grant-funded position, made possible by the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas (UMFA), will help the Center create programs for young United Methodists (ages 12 and up) to explore and discern their calls to lay and ordained ministry and church leadership; and will support young clergy in sustaining their calls to ministry through civic engagement retreats and intentional mentoring relationships. The grant will also provide funds for events, travel, and additional program support.
After graduating from Hendrix, Englert-Jessen went on to Boston University School of Theology, earning a Master of Divinity degree in 2017. A native of Dallas, where she most recently served as a chaplain at Methodist Health System, she is a candidate for ordination as a deacon in the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church.
While in Boston, Englert-Jessen lived and worked in the Life Together Community, gaining practical ministry and leadership development experience focused on social justice. Her calling leads her toward supporting and creating spaces for the church (broadly defined) to be a source of personal and social transformation, including guiding communities to discern personally and collectively where they feel deeply called.
“It’s exciting to return to the environment that shaped so much of my own call to ministry,” she said. “I’m passionate about doing work that supports students at Hendrix and across Arkansas in discerning who they are in community.”
“The Miller Center for Vocation, Ethics, and Calling has always had a vital program of ministry exploration for Hendrix students. With the Foundation’s gift, we want to make those opportunities and intentional mentoring available across Arkansas,” said the Rev. J.J. Whitney ’96, chaplain of the College. “Continuing the Hendrix College tradition of being a space that mentors young adults for ministry, the Center will give us resources to reach across the state and provide opportunities for youth and young adults to discern a call to ministry and leadership within the church.”
The Center for Calling and Christian Leadership seeks to mentor young persons from the beginnings of discerning a call to ministry and throughout the vocational discernment process to professional church leadership. It will offer programming in a variety of areas, including worship leadership, shadowing, orientation to ministry, spiritual formation, peer support, internships, and service-learning opportunities.
“The work of the Center to help young people discern their call to ministry is exciting and encouraging,” said Michelle Moore ’06, developer of clergy recruitment and youth and young adult coordinator for the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church. “The Center’s efforts will strengthen the church for decades to come.”
About Hendrix College
A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit www.hendrix.edu.