When I was a kid, I used to play church the way a lot of kids play school, I used to baptize and marry students on the school playground. I don’t think any of the marriages ‘took,’ but Dr. Hendel tells me that the baptisms were valid.
Student Profile: Kyle Severson
“When I was a kid, I used to play church the way a lot of kids play school,” Kyle Severson says. “I used to baptize and marry students on the school playground. I don’t think any of the marriages ‘took,’ but Dr. Hendel tells me that the baptisms were valid.”
Kyle calls that the early phase of his call. He got serious about his call during confirmation classes. Pastor Todd Napoli (2000, M.Div.) saw the passion in Kyle and helped him develop it. Kyle started teaching Sunday School when he was 15. At 16, he was asked to chair the congregation’s worship and music committee and to sit on the Congregation Council. Pastor Napoli also asked Kyle to make visits to shut-ins and hospitalized to a fuller picture of pastoral ministry.
Even though he knew he’d be going to seminary, at his pastor’s urging, he majored in something other than religion at college. “I was a music education major at Augustana College (Rock Island, Ill.) and taught music and led choirs of 4th – 12th graders in a small town in Illinois for two years,” Kyle says. One of his choirs performed at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Kyle is both an ELCA Fund for Leaders in Mission Scholar and a Fund for Theological Education Fellow. “Receiving the Fund for Leaders in Mission Scholarship helped me to decide to come to seminary now.” He chose LSTC because of the liturgical worship he experienced on his first visit to the seminary. Now he helps lead morning prayer -- sometimes as the worship leader and sometimes as the musician.
With a full course load, he finds that time is his biggest challenge. “As a teacher, I was used to being busy, but studying is a different kind of busy,” Kyle says. He is still able to find time to be his class convener for the Master’s Student Association, sing in the Chicago Chorale, be a member of the liturgical dance team and work part-time on campus.