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Meet Emily Lutz

Garrett-Evangelical’s impressive and long-standing commitment to and support of deacons and deacon candidate students was exactly what I was hoping for in a seminary education and community.

Name: Emily Nicole Lutz

Hometown: Dothan, Alabama

Age: 30

Home Church & Denomination: Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Montgomery, Alabama

Degrees: B.A., Psychology, Business Minor, Troy University, Troy, Alabama

M.Div., Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Garrett-Evangelical Degree Program/Year: Master of Arts in Pastoral Care and Counseling (Clinical Track), first year

Background Information:

I am a middle child, a self-proclaimed psychology junkie and a lover of people. I enjoy traveling, experiencing new cultures and people, and building relationships. I love to listen – to music, to stories, to inspiring conversations taking place on the CTA (which do happen, really). I enjoy sports and am a complete sucker for teamwork. I am an introvert who enjoys being with people.

I enjoy reading, and I am inspired by people who tell their own stories of work, life, faith, spirituality, family, struggle, challenge and relationships. I love to watch (and quote) movies, whether romantic comedies, documentaries, sports inspiration films, or socio-political or historical commentaries. I search for God in the world each day through people, nature, and the creative work of each.


Having spent five years in the nonprofit sector in a cluster of diverse organizations (a faith-based, home repair mission organization, a state-level sexual violence prevention coalition, and a youth mentoring organization), I had learned that my calling was on the ground level of life. My personal call to the Order of Deacon in The United Methodist Church stems from this realization. I am called to work where faith meets life, or in the words of The United Methodist Church, where the church meets the world.

Upon entering my master of divinity program, I understood my call to be at a macro-level: organizations, systems, advocacy, community service and missions. After three years of education, discernment and work in various field placements, I have realized that I am called to a much more personal level of work: pastoral care and clinical counseling.

Attraction to Garrett-Evangelical:

I was born in the Midwest and traveled back regularly to visit extended family throughout my life, and I have always felt an affinity for this part of the country. Garrett-Evangelical’s location, not only in the Midwest, but also in the wonderful Chicagoland area initially hooked me. I am also on the deacon ordination track in my conference, and Garrett-Evangelical’s impressive and long-standing commitment to and support of deacons and deacon candidate students was exactly what I was hoping for in a seminary education and community. Having been part of this community for three years now, I could not be more grateful for the many ways I have been challenged and affirmed, both personally and professionally, by my professors and my peers.

In pursuing my clinical counseling degree, I am so fortunate that Garrett-Evangelical sees the important impact and place of this vocation in the church and has garnered partnerships with other academic organizations to offer not only doctoral programs that equip students for licensure, but also a master program for students like me who are not able to pursue education at the doctoral level.

Career Plans:

I am pursuing this next master’s degree en route to working as a clinical counselor. At this point, I am still discerning how this plan may manifest, but I know that I am particularly interested in grief and its effects on a person’s psyche and faith, as well as the ways in which faith influences a person’s experiences of grieving. I am looking forward to engaging in this program of study, taking my first unit of clinical pastoral education, listening to the stories of clients, and walking alongside people in their journeys as their counselor.