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Introducing Derek Elkins

We are so pleased to have Derek as a Ministry intern this summer. He is currently serving as the Protestant Chaplain at St. Norbert College and Director of the Spiritual Life Center. Derek is a member of First Church in discernment about the call to ordained ministry and he will be leading worship and a Bible study, as well as assisting with pastoral care and funerals this summer as the need arises. He will be preaching on June 11, his first Sunday.


Derek Elkins is the Director of Community Service & Learning and the Interim-Director of the Emmaus Center for Spiritual Life & Vocation at St. Norbert College. Derek has worked in higher education since 2008 and served as a minister for youth and college students before then. At St. Norbert, Derek leads work at the intersection of faith and justice, empowering students, staff, and faculty to cultivate values and action with a deep sense of purpose that embodies a commitment to justice and the common good. Before St. Norbert, Derek worked for several years at Rutgers University to develop a state-wide college education program in the prisons of New Jersey.


I am excited to serve the community of First Congregational Church in Appleton this summer while Pastors Nick and Susan have some well-deserved respite! When I finished seminary more than a decade ago, I felt called to serve in educational settings because I had experienced a life-giving transformation through education as a first-generation college student. I started to feel a heart-tug toward ordination a few years ago when I sensed that my ministry with students would be deepened if they knew that I could marry them and serve them communion, in addition to being an advocate for justice, a spiritual support, and a seeker and source of wisdom. I hope this summer will begin a rich season exploring that call. I'm glad that I'll get to partner with Mary Jo this summer and I'll do my best to leave the place as nice as I found it for Pastors Susan and Nick.

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