Meet Madelyn Johnson
Master of Divinity
What is your hometown and educational background?
I am from Overland Park, Kansas, and I earned my bachelor’s degree in Spanish and psychology from Kansas State University in 2016.
How has your time at Garrett-Evangelical shaped your ministry and calling?
Garrett-Evangelical has been incredibly formative for me in finding my voice as a Christian and as a future clergy leader. There have been so many opportunities in the classroom, in projects, through friendships, and through partnerships in the local community that have helped shape me into a leader who is called to both the church and the world. I feel equipped now to navigate difficult conversations in my home community by challenging toxic and privileged theologies and offering biblical interpretations that bring life and love. Garrett-Evangelical has given me lifelong friendships and community that I can lean on as I enter my pastoral ministry.
What is your most transformative experience at Garrett-Evangelical?
One of the most transformative moments for me in my time at Garrett-Evangelical was traveling to Chiapas, Mexico, for a cross-cultural immersion course during my first year. We learned from and saw local faith leaders practicing indigenous theology, syncretism, creation care, and liberation theology. We had the opportunity to meet a Zapatista community and hear its story of resistance and what dreaming of a new world looks like. We witnessed the art and creativity of the community through graffiti, dance, poetry, posters, and icons. These two weeks have forever shaped how I do and practice theology in my own life and ministry by helping me to embody a preferential option for the poor and to lean into the creativity and mystery of the divine.
What are your plans or your hopes for your future?
I am currently seeking ordination in the Great Plains Conference of The United Methodist Church. I will begin my first appointment on July 1, serving at Grace United Methodist Church in Winfield, Kansas. My hope is to use my education and gifts for ministry to help connect people with others and with resources in order to transform the local community to reflect God’s kin-dom of love and justice for all.