Ms. Kutz wrote these answers when she was a second year MDiv student at the Divinity School. She is now the Director of Liturgy at Old St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Chicago.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri.
What education did you receive before coming to the University of Chicago Divinity School?
I received my B.A. in Theology from Xavier University, which is a Catholic, Jesuit, liberal arts school in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Why did you choose to attend Chicago?
I chose to attend Chicago’s Divinity School because of its location, academic reputation, intimate Ministry Studies program, and financial aid offer. I love being in a vibrant, diverse city with so many opportunities to explore culture! Also, the academic resources of the University of Chicago cannot be beat. I believe that I will be prepared for any professional offer or Ph.D. program when I graduate, thanks to Chicago’s great reputation. What makes this M.Div. program special, in my opinion, compared to the eight other schools to which I was accepted, was the incredible support and intimate community of the Ministry Studies department. I enjoy having a small cohort of 15 students, and two program coordinators who know me well and desire to see me flourish. Finally, I could not have attended this wonderful school without its generous financial aid offer. Altogether, these factors made the University of Chicago Divinity School the best choice for me.
What is your field of study? Please note briefly any highlights of your academic work at Chicago.
I am a Master of Divinity student at the University of Chicago. During my first year, I enjoyed the foundational courses in Scripture and theology. As a second-year graduate student, I am working part-time at a congregation in downtown Chicago. I love studying the Arts of Ministry—preaching, worship and pastoral care—in conjunction with field education.
Please describe your field work, as well as any church work, special teaching activities, publications, or presentations you have worked on so far that you feel are noteworthy. Are you taking any classes? Are there any professors or ministers in particular who have made a significant impact on your studies?
This has been an exciting year for me! I have enjoyed my field internship at Old St. Pat’s Catholic Church immensely. I have been given the opportunity to preach twice—a rarity for Catholic women—and my preaching class with Rev. Cynthia Lindner really paid off. I am also involved in youth education and social justice outreach. These experiences are helping me put concrete action to the themes and theories I enjoy studying at the Divinity School.
What activities do you participate in outside of the classroom? (community service, work, hobbies, etc.)
I work part-time at Chicago Presents, which is the University’s professional music concert venue on campus. I coordinate ushers at each performance, and make sure the events run smoothly. Additionally, I live in an ecumenical community on campus called Brent House. This is the center for Episcopal campus ministry, as well as a venue for numerous faith-based programs. As a resident, I aid in creating a place of warmth and hospitality for our guests. I also work as the House Manager, meaning I am responsible for house maintenance, community development and operation.
What do you plan to do after you have graduated from Chicago?
After graduating from the Divinity School, I hope to find employment in parish ministry and education. In particular, I would like to work in a bold and creative community that is continually evaluating the way in which it lives the Gospel. Since I am marrying a Chicago Public Schools teacher next summer, we plan to stay in the city.