Associate Pastor at Portland Mennonite Church
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Class of 2009, Theology and European Studies majors
With a background in theology and European studies, Carlson is currently transitioning from being the interim pastor of the Community (Baptist) Church of Issaquah to being the associate pastor at Portland Mennonite Church. Carlson loves to preach and plan the liturgy, and she especially enjoys surprising people when they ask her line of work.
How does your time at SPU connect to what you’re doing today?
If it hadn’t been for Kerry Dearborn’s Christian Theology class, I don’t know if I’d be a pastor today. She assigned a book called, Good News for Women, and it changed my mind about women and pastoral leadership. It would be another five years before I was able to receive God’s call on my own life, but that class and Kerry’s witness was my first step toward uncovering my calling to be a pastor.
Which SPU faculty or staff member made a difference in your education?
Rick Steele was my advisor, and like all good advisors, he saw more for me than I saw for myself. Long before I was called to ministry, Rick was propelling me toward the things God had in store for me.
What advice would you give to current SPU students?
Sometimes you are honored as a pastor and one of the 125 Ones to Watch, and sometimes you are unemployed, living in your parents’ house, and watching reruns of House. Life is fun.