Meet Grant Swanson
Master of Divinity with a Peace Studies Concentration
What is your hometown and educational background?
I am from Omaha, Nebraska. I went to North Central College and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English. After college, I joined Teach for America and taught sixth grade at St. Francis Indian School on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. During the first summer, I worked as a teacher-ranger at Yellowstone National Park. Over the next few summers, I earned a Master of Arts in English through Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English.
How has your time at Garrett-Evangelical shaped your ministry and calling?
When I came to Garrett-Evangelical, I knew I was called into education and I was called into ministry, but I did not understand how I could be called into both. It was through my time at Garrett-Evangelical, engaging in rigorous coursework, practicing spiritual formation and discernment, building transformative relationships, and living out what I was learning tangibly at my field site that I came to realize that God was calling me into the ministry of the church and educational ministry as a deacon within The United Methodist Church. Garrett-Evangelical gave me the tools, language, and theological undergirding to understand and faithfully live into my call to ministry.
What is your most transformative experience at Garrett-Evangelical?
There have been so many transformative experiences at Garrett-Evangelical. They include having independent studies with Rev. Dr. Cheryl Anderson and Rev. Dr. Timothy Eberhart, having Dr. Nancy Bedford as my advisor, discerning my call through vocational formation and congregational leadership, completing the peace studies concentration in collaboration with the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, participating in the Proctor Institute for Childhood Advocacy and the Potawatomi Trail of Death summer travel courses, making lifelong friends and colleagues, putting my learning into action during two years of field placement at Urban Village Church: Wicker Park, advocating for students as a trustee and co-chair on the Student Council, and tangibly learning how to be a disciple for Christ in the church and the world as an ordained deacon.
What are your plans or your hopes for your future?
After graduation, I will start working right away at the Chicago Jesuit Academy in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago. I will be teaching seventh and eighth grade English and spiritual formation. I will also continue my ordination process as a deacon within the Northern Illinois Conference of The United Methodist Church.