Ben Dueholm


Rev. Dueholm answered these questions in the summer of 2013.  He joined the Divinity School Alumni Council in the fall of 2012.

Why did you decide to pursue a degree at the University of Chicago Divinity School?

I received my bachelor's degree from the College and had taken several classes in the Divinity School. I knew alumni of the M.Div program and was always impressed at the breadth of traditions represented in the program as well as the depth of theological study that was possible through it.

What were the highlights of your Divinity School experience?

There were many! I loved the History of Christianity courses I took, Margaret Mitchell's New Testament class, a course on Luther with Susan Schreiner. I also took full advantage of the wider university setting by taking relevant courses in the English, Social Thought, and Anthropology departments. Helping to organize the ministry conferences was also a great thrill and a powerful learning experience of its own.

What is your current job?  How did you get to this position?

I am currently serving as associate pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church in Wauconda, Illinois. I came here on an interim basis in 2011 and was kept on as the permanent associate pastor starting last year. Additionally I work as a freelance writer for a number of periodicals.

How did the program at the Divinity School and the wider University prepare you for your current work?

People seem to appreciate the academic background that informs my preaching and teaching. Church folks tend to be intellectually curious, so being able to answer some of their questions or start conversations that might broaden those questions has been very rewarding. My work at the Divinity School helped me write quickly and effectively as well.

What do you do in your non-professional life?

 I spend some time wishing I had more of a non-professional life. My wife, Kerry Waller Dueholm (M.Div 03) and I live in the church parsonage and raise our two sons, Soren and Elijah. We are also licensed foster parents.

Why did you agree to serve on the Alumni Council?

I felt I had a really first-rate theological education and I was happy to be asked to play some part in ensuring that a similar or better experience continued to be available to ministry students, in particular, who were willing to seek out the challenge of studying in an ecumenical, interfaith, and highly scholarly setting.