LSTC Graduate Spotlight 2024

Headshot of Annelisa Burns

Annelisa Burns

Master of Arts

What is your favorite memory of your time at LSTC?

My favorite memory is traveling to Holden Village in January of 2024. It was such a meaningful, emotional time spent in community with old and new friends and nature.

What was the most meaningful class you took?

One of the most meaningful classes I took was Theology of James Cone in January 2023 with Dr. Wickware. It was rich and challenging academically, emotionally, and personally.

How did you feel supported during your seminary journey? Were you the recipient of any major scholarships? What communities or people uplifted you during your studies?

I received the Presidential Scholarship which covered all of my tuition. Without that scholarship, I don’t know that I could have attended seminary.

My family, especially my parents, have always been my biggest supporters. I’m also grateful for the many faculty members and other professionals who have mentored me, at LSTC and beyond. Finally, I’m so appreciative of the community of LSTC students and partners, who have always accepted and celebrated me as I am. I’m going to miss living in community with you all probably more than anything else.

What are your post-graduation plans?

I’m taking the next year off to work and apply to PhD programs. My long-term plans are to teach theology or religious studies as a professor, ideally in a kind of prison education program.

How did LSTC shape you as a future leader of the public church?

Being at LSTC has helped me think of teaching as a kind of ministry. Theologies of love, liberation, and race now inform my approach to teaching, especially to teaching in prison. Cornel West says that “justice is what love looks like in public,” and that’s always been a sort of mantra for me, but after my time at LSTC, I understand the relationship between God, love, and justice in a more committed, thoughtful way.

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