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Mailing Address
2121 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60201

Phone: (847) 866-3971
Toll-Free: (800) SEMINARY
Fax: (847) 866-3989

Meet Lauren Wallem

Rockford, IL


Home Church & Denomination
Christ United Methodist Church, Rockford, IL

B.A., Religious Studies and Political Science, North Central College

Garrett-Evangelical Degree Program/Year
M.Div., First Year

Formative Vocational Experiences
When I was a junior in college, I was a pastoral intern at church, and one of the things I did with the pastor was make hospital visits. One day, the pastor told me that she wasn’t able to visit someone and that she was sending the other intern and me instead. I knew that the woman in question was elderly and had some chronic health issues, but I didn’t know her personally and had never been on an unaccompanied hospital visit.  I was pretty nervous about this!  As it turns out, she had been a social worker and a CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) advisor, so it was a bit of a setup.  Here we were expecting to minister to someone, and she’s the one teaching us how to do hospital visits.

I also had the opportunity to sit in with the pastor on some premarital counseling sessions, which was pretty amazing. I had the chance to see people at a momentous time in their lives with their guards down. It was a lesson in exploring what lies beneath the surface of people. I watched the pastor hone in with couples on certain issues that weren’t obvious but needed to be addressed.

Personal Information
My parents live in Rockford. My father is a financial planner, and my mother is an elementary school art teacher. I have one sister, Lindsey, who is three years older and lives in Chicago. She is a self-employed social media professional working for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and for a branch of Northwestern University. Now that I live on Garrett-Evangelical’s campus, I’m exploring churches in the area. I know Chicago pretty well and have really enjoyed attending services at First UMC at the Chicago Temple. In my dwindling spare time, I enjoy music – specifically singing and playing violin. I also like reading a lot and hiking in the great outdoors.

Attraction to Garrett-Evangelical
I remember visiting an Old Testament class with Professor Cheryl Anderson. I was taking a similar class at the time at North Central College, where I was a religious studies major, so I was able to follow the class a bit, which was exciting. I’m not sure what my preconceptions were about seminary, but I was pleasantly surprised by how dynamic and out-of-the-box the discussions were. I knew I was going to be challenged.

I’m still in the midst of discerning my particular call, but I’m seriously considering serving as a deacon in a pastoral care or chaplaincy setting. I’m pursuing the M.Div. because of how all-inclusive the program is and the options I will have when I graduate.


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