‘Wartburg supported me as a whole person’

NAME: Madelyn Anderson
MAJORS: Religion
YEAR: 2023
HOMETOWN: New Providence, Iowa

CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT: Religion Office Assistant, Greek Tutor

HOW DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR MAJORS: I was deeply influenced by the previous campus pastor, Brian Beckstrom. I wanted a college that would support me in my calling to be a pastor and affirm me in my gender and sexuality. Wartburg’s religion department is unique from many other small colleges because of the number of professors and their ability to bridge between academics and pastoral preparation. I also chose Wartburg because I knew it would support me as a whole person. My professors were always willing to give me an extension or a little extra help when I needed it, as well as taking a genuine interest in me.

HOW HAS WARTBURG PREPARED YOU FOR YOUR FUTURE:  I was able to do two internships, which affirmed my call and prepared me for my masters program. As someone who didn’t grow up Lutheran but now plans to be a Lutheran pastor, Wartburg immersed me in the Lutheran church world.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS AFTER GRADUATION: Master of Divinity at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and then ordination in the ELCA.

Madelyn Anderson

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT DURING YOUR TIME AT WARTBURG: I am very proud of my RICE Day poster presentation. I picked an unconventional topic (Lutheran Sex Education) and so I was able to have a lot of honest conversations about assumptions and values. The way we talk about things matters, and I’m very proud of starting those discussions.

HOW HAVE YOU EMBODIED ONE OF WARTBURG’S FOUR PILLARS: The religion major requirements are relatively small, so I was able to supplement my deep learning with broad learning about literature, politics, math, and language. I learned many things and made so many connections with peers and professors. I also was able to facilitate others’ learning by being a tutor and a leader within the religion office. One of my goals for my senior year was to assist my professors in stimulating classroom-wide discussions, and it was educational for me to listen intentionally to diverse ideas.

WHAT IS ONE MEMORY YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE OF YOUR TIME AT WARTBURG: I will never forget the HOURS I spent in the Burrow (the religion office lounge) doing homework or arguing about theology with my friends. It has always been a place of community for me, as well as a place of rest and reflection.