One friend really pushed me to think about what it meant for me to claim Christianity as my religion. It helped me define myself.
Student Profile: Jenna Pulkowski
“I’ve always known that I was called to action -- to be the hands and feet of Christ. I heard that as a child,” says Jenna Pulkowski. She grew up in first the Assemblies of God and then the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. “I saw a very real, active faith.”
Jenna attended Luther College and was immediately transformed by her experiences there. During her first week there, campus discussion focused on the 2005 ELCA Churchwide Assembly “decided not to decide” on gay and lesbian policies for the denomination. Jenna began to grapple with her understanding of gender and sexuality issues related to her faith.
In her sophomore year at Luther, Jenna was baptized. Campus pastor and LSTC alum David Vasquez wasn’t available to do the baptism the day Jenna had chosen. A female pastor, Amy Larson, performed the baptism. “It was one of the greatest blessings of my life,” Jenna says. “Pastor Larson ministered to so many people. She was such a pastoral care giver. She brings that presence of God with her.” The day was another turning point for Jenna.
A semester in England, surrounded by friends who were agnostic or Buddhist caused Jenna to question her faith. “One friend really pushed me to think about what it meant for me to claim Christianity as my religion. It helped me define myself,” she says.
A little lost when she returned to Luther, Jenna decided to work at Sugar Creek Bible Camp for the summer. “I met some amazing people and soaked up the theology of the church – what we teach kids about God.”
In her senior year at Luther she realized that “at some point I was going to go to seminary.” After serving a year with the Urban Servant Corps, she felt drawn to LSTC’s Urban Ministry Emphasis. “I want to work to transform the imbalance in power,” Jenna says.
A number of her classmates are also interested in urban ministry and are organizing a group to look at what it means to do social justice in urban, rural, and suburban settings. She hopes it will be a Growth in Faith offering in the coming year.