Ashley Greuel had known for years that she was destined for the ministry. But it wasn’t until the theology major completed two internships through the Niebuhr Center at Elmhurst College that her specific goals began to take shape.
As a sophomore, Ashley interned at a nearby UCC church. “I worked with the church’s youth group, helping plan their mission trip to Puerto Rico,” she recalls. “I also learned first-hand about fundraising and other aspects of running a church.”
Ashley’s second Elmhurst internship took her into the field of disaster relief. Working for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Domestic Disaster Relief department, she completed several projects focused on planning for catastrophes.
“I put together information packets on how to prepare for a pandemic flu outbreak or similar disaster,” says Ashley. “The project involved research, making presentations, and a lot of planning.”
Ashley says her internships reaffirmed her plan to enter the ministry and helped her focus her goals. “It was great to experience what it’s actually like to work inside a church, and discover how much I love it,” she notes. “And those experiences helped me see that my place is in a rural church."
Photograph by Tom Lindfors