by Andrea Simmonds (MDiv ’18), Office of Communications
Name: Emily Hedrick
Hometown: Telford, Pennsylvania
Denominational Affiliation: Mennonite
Before coming to Wake Forest University, Emily completed her B.A. degree in music, with a concentration in voice, and Bible, religion, and philosophy at Goshen College. She says she chose the School of Divinity because it is small and ecumenical, and because of the feeling of confirmation she received when stepping onto campus. She is the author of the fiction book, True Confessions of a God Killer: A Postmodern Pilgrim’s Progress (DreamSeeker Books, 2014), which was published during her second year. Emily currently serves as a Chaplain at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.
What are some of your accomplishments or service you’ve been involved with?
I have had so many opportunities to take advantage of while a student. I have served on the Worship Committee and enjoyed planning creative worship services inspired by many different religious traditions. I also led a Lenten series on embodiment at Greensboro Mennonite Fellowship where I invited the congregation to participate in rituals each week, focusing on God’s presence in our bodies. One summer I had the opportunity to serve Crisis Control Ministry in Winston-Salem, an organization that meets short-term emergency needs of distressed people. I interviewed clients and learned more about the difficulties of poverty in our community.
What will you miss most about Wake Div?
I will miss the community that is here, one that I absolutely love. Though I am sad to be leaving, I am excited about how Wake Divinity has prepared me for ministry.
What is your favorite memory from your time at Wake Div?
Watching a loaf of bread I made from scratch, broken for communion in Wait Chapel. I remember, in that moment, feeling an intimate connection to both our diverse community and to God that I had not felt before.
What does earning this degree mean to you?
This degree is a fulfillment of a childhood dream. I came in as a “God Killer” and am leaving as a pastor, meaning I came in with a deconstructed view of God and am leaving with a restored image of God. My inner 9 year-old self is jumping up and down (which she has been since I stepped foot into this school in 2013).
What’s next? Do you have a job/vocational plans lined up?
I have been called by Lima Mennonite Church in Lima, Ohio to serve as their pastor.