United Theological Seminary

Alum Stories


Rabbi Amy Eilberg, DMin class of 2015

Amy is the first woman ordained as a Conservative rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, spiritual director, and an interfaith activist. “There may be nothing with quite as much positive potential as religion for building a stronger community, and a stronger world.”


Aaron Lauer, MA class of 2010 and MDiv class of 2015

Aaron is the Minister for Children, Youth, and Families at First Congregational Church of Minnesota. “The church is undergoing changes in the way it’s structured, its mission, and how we do outreach to people from diverse backgrounds, whether that be ethnicity, class, and LGBT issues. We live in a much more integrated world and United takes that seriously.”


Sonja Parr, MDiv class of 2012

Sonja is the founder of ethical clothing company, Imago Venia: Dressing in Grace. “When you’re a student at United, you cannot help but hear the message of global justice all around you.”

Kimber Olson

KIMBER OLSON, MA class of 2010

“My art practice and theology remain connected since completing an MA in Theology and the Arts at UTS in 2010. Theological principles are the framework for my practice in and outside the studio. What are the implications when hand, heart and mind are engaged in imaginative exploration? What is the broader meaning or purpose of individual and shared creative experiences? “My art explores ecological concerns, social in/justice, and ideas about belonging, place and community. Through careful observation of organic systems I mine recurring themes of temporality, interdependency, fragility and resilience. Art is my voice, made visible via public exhibitions. “Outside the studio I work with arts learners of all ages to facilitate creative experiences, often in non-traditional settings (i.e., senior communities, memory care units, youth programs, correctional facilities). Whether it’s an ‘aha!’ moment for a maker, table mates who compare and contrast their works-in-progress, or the shared group experience — art becomes a vehicle for self-discovery, a tool for understanding self in relation to other and/or community builder. The energy and vitality in a room change when people create in shared spaces. Art connects and affirms our common humanity in powerful ways.”

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