We are delighted and honored to have a talented group of seminarians and interns join us this year!
(From top left: Danny Ballon MDiv II, HDS; Wes Conn MDiv II, Boston University School of Theology; Patrick Jackson MDiv II, Andover Newton Theological School; Sahar Shahid MDiv II, Multifaith Engagement Intern; Jorden Sharick, PhD Student in Religion, GSAS; Adam Vander Tuig MDiv III, HDS)
Our Seminarians for the academic year will be Patrick Jackson MDiv II from Andover Newton Theological School, Danny Ballon MDiv II, and Adam Vander Tuig MDiv III from Harvard Divinity School. We are also pleased to have Jorden Sharick, PhD Student in GSAS as our Graduate Intern and Sahar Shahid MDiv II as our Multifaith Engagement Intern. Westley (Wes) Conn MDiv II from Boston University School of Theology will return as our Church School Director. Here's a little bit about them:
Danny Ballon, Seminarian Danny is a second-year MDiv candidate at Harvard Divinity School studying contemporary Christianity with a specific focus on exploring the implications of religious belief and practice for law and public policy, particularly around issues of LGBT rights and equality. Prior to coming to Harvard, Danny graduated from USC Law School and practiced law in Southern California as a civil rights attorney and as a complex commercial litigator. Danny is excited to be a part of the spiritual community at Harvard, and looks forward to getting to know the many brilliant, energetic, and talented students, faculty, and staff members who call the Memorial Church their spiritual home.
Westley Conn, Church School Director Wes is a second-year MDiv candidate at Boston University School of Theology, focusing on pastoral ministry, as he is pursing ordination in the United Church of Christ. He comes to the Memorial Church from Saint Paul’s United Church of Christ in Somerset, PA; here he served as Ministry Intern and Sunday School Director. Wes is currently serving his second year as Church School Director at MemChurch.
Patrick Jackson, Seminarian Patrick is a third-year student in the MDiv program at Andover Newton Theological School, where he was elected President of the Student Association for the 2015-16 academic year. He also serves as a volunteer minister at Myrtle Baptist Church, located in West Newton, Mass. Patrick was born and raised about 20 minutes northeast of Memphis, Tennessee in rural Shelby County. Growing up in Tennessee has given him an appreciation for many things, including barbecue, SEC college football and good old, down-home, foot-stomping worship. Before coming to ANTS, Patrick spent eight years working on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and six years as an attorney in Columbus. He received his JD from the University of Wisconsin Law School and his B.A. from Harvard, where he concentrated in Government. Patrick’s passions include the Bible, music, writing, travel and encouraging others to find the humor in life. He is married to Rev. Dr. Yvette W. Jackson, who serves as the Executive Director of the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation and as an associate minister at First Church of God in Columbus, Ohio. His ultimate desire is to use his God-given gifts creatively to reach and uplift God’s people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Sahar Shahid, Multifaith Engagement Intern Sahar is a second-year MDiv candidate at Harvard Divinity School, serving as Student Association President elect though the 2015-16 academic year, and focusing on women, gender, and sexuality in Islam. She has been actively involved with interfaith work through her role as President of the student organization Harvard Better Together. Sahar is passionate about creating dialogue and avenues of interaction between and among religions. She will be putting into effect a project committed to interfaith as a representative for Harvard Divinity School for the Fifth Annual President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge
Jorden Sharick, Graduate Intern Jorden is a PhD student in Religion at Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. In May 2015, he completed his MDiv at Harvard Divinity School; and before coming to Harvard, he earned a BA in Religious Studies from the University of California, Riverside. Some of Jorden’s research is focused on the therapeutic capacity of liturgy. This capacity is something he has experienced at the Memorial Church; it’s something Jorden is learning from the Memorial Church community. And he remains grateful.
Adam Vander Tuig, Seminarian Adam is serving his fourth semester as Seminarian and completing his last semester as MDiv candidate at Harvard Divinity School. He studies Lutheran theology, liberation theologies, and religious ethics and aims to be ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), like his father, uncles, and cousins before him. Adam is a proud father, a proud Nebraskan, and a proud former public high school literature teacher.