Meet Jordan Louks
Master of Divinity
What is your hometown and educational background?
My hometown is Spear Fish, South Dakota. I graduated from Black Hills State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in history and political science with a minor in American Indian studies.
How has your time at Garrett-Evangelical shaped your ministry and calling?
Garrett-Evangelical has been a very transformative experience for me. The coursework, field education opportunities, and dialogue with professors and peers, all combined to create an environment where I was challenged and inspired for the work of ministry. My calling into pastoral ministry was further defined at Garrett-Evangelical as well, as I realized how crucial issues of justice and mercy were to my calling into ministry.
What is your most transformative experience at Garrett-Evangelical?
It is hard to pick just one experience that was the most transformative. Perhaps it was the worship service led by Sacred Worth a few weeks before General Conference in 2016, as we all sang in the Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful that for everyone born, there is a place at the table, God’s table, no matter race, gender, or sexual orientation. Perhaps it was writing the Final Integrative Project, as I learned much through that process about what it truly means to be an ally and fight for justice alongside women and others who face systems of violence and discrimination every day. Perhaps it was my class on race that challenged me to think about my own complicity as a white male in this society and subsequently change my own ways while simultaneously becoming a leader to help others become aware of their own complicity. Perhaps it was that first week of new student orientation when I realized that callings into ministry are not individual but communal. Or perhaps it simply was the entire three years of work, laughter, joy, fear, sadness, and hope that combined to make it an entirely transformative experience that will forever change the way I engage in ministry and life.
What are your plans or your hopes for your future?
I was recently commissioned as a provisional elder in the Dakotas Conference of The United Methodist Church, and I have been appointed to serve Alexandria UMC and Ethan UMC in southeastern South Dakota. I am looking forward to seeing how we can work together to bring about God’s justice for all peoples in the communities there and the region. My hope for the future is to serve God wherever I am called to lead, listen, learn, and love.