Complicated times require creative, adaptive leaders—pastors, teachers, caregivers, and researchers who cultivate the art of paying attention.
Graduates of our MDiv program possess the critical skills to ask significant questions; have the imagination to forge transformative collaborations across the borders of disciplines, traditions, and professions; and embody the wisdom and courage necessary to devote themselves to these practices day after day. The Divinity School is located in the heart of a vigorous metropolis legendary for its strong and innovative leaders in many fields, and Chicago’s talented religious leaders—nationally known preachers, writers, editors, and activists—are important partners in our ministry program, serving as workshop leaders and guest preachers, teaching pastors for our interns, reflection leaders for our practicum, and teaching team members in our ministry courses.
DeShazier, MDiv’10, senior minister of University Church on 57th Street, has been a teaching pastor for congregational placements, a practicum discussion leader, and a ministry conference speaker. He is a Chicago native, and a graduate of Morehouse College.
With University Church and the Chicago Wisdom Project, he started a program for “where young adults (most of them high-school dropouts and barely escaping or trying to exit gang/drug culture) now have a music studio where they write, record, and own their own music.” He also records his own music as J.Kwest, including Verbal Kwest's “Crazy Streets.”
Stefko, (MDiv’13), assistant farm manager at Sandhill Family Farms in Grayslake, Illinois, and candidate for the Episcopal priesthood, is working at the intersection of food justice and congregational life.
“Christianity is the only major tradition without dietary laws,” Stefko told Thrive! magazine. “My master’s thesis was all about exploring how the meals at church and the meals at home enhance each other.”
Stefko imagines herself one day working full-time on a farm owned or supported by a parish and growing food for that community, Thrive! wrote. Ever the advocate for worker justice, she also wants to address the economic issues and pastoral needs of those who work so hard to grow our food—people who are largely invisible to us but make it possible for us to live.