Student Stories

ARC Organization Names MDiv Student, Maria Alejandra Salazar, 2019 Emerging Leaders Fellow

Maria Salazar

Maria Alejandra Salazar, current master of divinity student at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, was named a 2019 Emerging Leaders Fellow by the ARC (Arts, Religion, and Culture) organization. Salazar is one of six fellows in the 2019 cohort.

The ARC Emerging Leaders Fellowship recognizes and supports those with rising gifts and passions in the arts and religion and intentionally seeks out those ready to deepen their call to serve in a way that brings together spiritual and creative practices. The fellowship is specifically for young adults and seeks to expose leaders to the tools, models, and relationships that can help them thrive in their individual contexts and communities.

As a fellow, Salazar hopes to explore the intersection of spirituality, activism, and art. She is passionate about theologies that center lived experiences at sites of liberation and transformative healing. “I am excited about this opportunity to walk with folks who are integrating art and theological reflection in various ways in their everyday lives,” said Salazar. “I will use this opportunity to continue to explore the role of spiritual practices in the trauma and burnout experienced by marginalized communities.”

Salazar will complete her master of divinity of program at Garrett-Evangelical this academic year. A graduate of Northwestern University, she earned a bachelor of science in social policy and education with a minor in Latina/o studies. Salazar was born in Lima, Peru, and is a 1.5 generation immigrant, meaning she spent her formative years in the United States. She is a first-generation college student and her background is in community organizing and advocacy around immigrant and refugee rights.

Upon graduation this May, Salazar will join Borealis Philanthropy as a program associate in the Immigration Litigation Fund. This national funder collaborative supports litigation efforts that challenge discriminatory, unlawful, and overly punitive immigration enforcement policies and practices at any stage of the enforcement trajectory.

ARC is a collaborative community for those who cultivate embodied and just ways of knowing and being through artistic and spiritual practices. They do this by connecting and supporting individuals, hosting events, providing consultation to organizations, offering workshops, and producing creative educational content. To learn more, go to ArtsReligionCulture.org.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, a graduate school of theology related to The United Methodist Church, was founded in 1853. Located on the campus of Northwestern University, the seminary serves more than 450 students from various denominations and cultural backgrounds, fostering an atmosphere of ecumenical interaction. Garrett-Evangelical creates bold leaders through master of divinity, master of arts, master of theological studies, doctor of philosophy, and doctor of ministry degrees. Its 4,500 living alumni serve church and society around the world.