Meet Jessica Lee
Master of Theological Studies
What is your hometown and educational background?
I was born in and spent my early childhood in Northern Virginia/Washington D.C.; though, I’ve now had the privilege of calling Hanoi, Beijing, Pittsburgh, and Seoul my home. In college, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to study — math, physics, cognitive science — but eventually I graduated with a bachelor of arts in philosophy.
How has your time at Garrett-Evangelical shaped your ministry and calling?
I entered Garrett-Evangelical as a master of divinity candidate for elder ordination in The United Methodist Church. This May, I graduate as a master of theological studies student still figuring out how academia and practical ministry can both be callings for my specific context. My time at Garrett-Evangelical provided space and encouragement for me to risk attempting creative frameworks for a revitalized future, both for the contemporary Church and its hopeful transformation.
What is your most transformative experience at Garrett-Evangelical?
Vocationally, I had struggled to understand how my innate bend toward philosophical thought and scientific inquiry could be matched with my even deeper thirst for theological construction. To my joy — and affirmation — I encountered professors who, when I was lost and confused, encouraged me to pursue my interests and harness my strengths (further gratitude extends to Iris Murdoch, St. Augustine, Origen, and Plato).
What are your plans or your hopes for your future?
I will begin pursuing my doctoral degree at Garrett-Evangelical this upcoming fall. My hope is to continue engaging in thoughtful constructive dialogue surrounding a re-imagination of Christian doctrine and tradition in reclaimed vocabulary that anticipates the liberation of all people, particularly through the lens of disability and cross-cultural discourse.