"To me, Luther seemed to have it all: strong academics, supportive professors, a beautiful location, plenty of student activities, and a close-knit community that tied it all together. It ended up being everything I wanted in a college–and more."
Even though Emily is a recent graduate, she’s already had experiences that have aligned with what’s important to her. “After graduation, I spent a summer working at a Bible camp, and then a few months as part of Luther’s Web Content team as a fellow,” she says. “I wrote stories, created ad campaigns, tracked web-traffic, and in general, promoted Luther to future students.” The experience was valuable, she says, because it helped build her resume and revealed an interest in marketing she didn’t know she had. “It connected the dots for me between college and career,” she says. “I’m currently in Minneapolis working as an assistant product marketer for Fortress Press.”
While a student, Emily worked as an assistant to one of her professors in the Religion Department, who was writing a book on Islamophobia. “I proofread chapters of his manuscript and collected some images for a photo gallery. I thought it was so cool that I got to help make a real book,” she says. “When it was published, I was excited and proud, not just because my name was printed in the acknowledgements, but because I felt like I had made a small contribution to an issue that mattered to me. I was peacemaking through book-making! Now I get to do that for a living.”
Emily says that when she tells people she majored in religion, the first thing they ask is if she wants to be a pastor someday. “While a religion major from Luther would be great preparation for ministry, it can also prepare you for numerous other careers and callings,” she says. “My major has made me a more engaged citizen. It has also affected my own faith and overall understanding of Christianity.”
In her role at Fortress Press, Emily uses knowledge she gained through her major every day. The company publishes titles on biblical studies, theology, and Christian history. “Most of our customers are very well-versed in those topics,” she says. “As a marketer, it's incredibly helpful to be knowledgeable of what our books are all about and who might buy them.”
In her religion courses, Emily learned a great deal about the relationship between religion and violence. “I started becoming interested in peace and conflict studies, and when I first heard about the Peace Scholars Program, I was immediately intrigued.” Luther is one of six colleges founded by Norwegian-American immigrants in the 19th century that sponsor the annual summer Peace Scholars program in Norway. The program is designed to deepen students' understanding of the central issues and theories regarding conflict, war and peace.
Emily feels that some of the most unexpected discoveries she made in the program were those about herself. “I left Norway with a deeper understanding of my own interests, priorities, and goals,” she says. “I also left feeling inexcusably unaware of crises outside of the U.S. I know now that being a well-informed global citizen requires passion, compassion, and dedication to lives that are not always visible.”
Emily’s biggest challenge in the Peace Scholars program was being confronted with so many global issues and sometimes feeling overwhelmed by the weight of it all. “It was difficult as a college student to simply study conflicts and not have the means to solve them. But after meeting famous peacemakers and humanitarian workers in Norway, I began to see how peacemaking doesn't require millions of dollars and a Ph.D. in peace studies. Small movements for change can actually make a huge difference.”
“Get to know your professors. Luther professors are not typical professors. They care about you, invest in you, and genuinely want to see you succeed in whatever you choose to do.”
“To me, Luther seemed to have it all: strong academics, supportive professors, a beautiful location, plenty of student activities, and a close-knit community that tied it all together. It ended up being everything I wanted in a college–and more.”