“The beautiful thing about Iliff is, Iliff stands with you and walks with you…”
– Mina Nau, Student of the Year 2017-2018
What was your experience as a student at Iliff?
My experience at Iliff has been a colorful one. I love color because color gives you a multitude of interesting, different, challenging, wonderful, and authentic experiences. It also values the colorful emotions, perspectives, and exposures that come from students, faculty, and staff and the everyday learning that happens.
The beautiful thing about Iliff is Iliff stands with you and walks with you as you encounter and engage the differences you aren’t familiar with or have ignored for so long. Iliff gives you those colorful tools to help you process and find courage to recognize and acknowledges your authentic self and the authenticity of others.
How has your education (and engagement with faculty) been at Iliff?
My education at Iliff was overwhelming because I did not have a background in theology or religion. It was a very pleasant education. I have learned so much about social justice and what it means to have my own theology and not be dependent on another person’s theology. I can learn from others’ theology and gain understanding but I have a right to my own theology and I will honor that.
What are your future plans?
I am currently an Associate Pastor at Hope UMC and will be overseeing the youth and discipleship. I am excited about caring for the souls of people, meeting them where they are at, and working with them to find their authentic identity and help them accept and appreciate that. This will allow them to tap into their gifts and talents and share that with the world. I am attentive to the Spirit so where ever God sends me I will go, my plans are in the Lords hands! Commit to the Lord whatever you do and God will show you the way (Proverbs 16:3)!
“My relationship with the Iliff faculty…has been a relationship of nourishment.”
– Kirt Hodges, Student of the Year 2017-2018
As I cross the threshold from Iliff student to Iliff alumnus, I feel excited about the career and service ahead of me. I recently learned that, in Latin, alumnus literally means “nourished one.” And as I close my career as a student of Divinity at Iliff, I find that term to be perfect. My relationship with the Iliff faculty has involved so much deconstruction, critical analysis, and accountability – but, above all, it has been a relationship of nourishment. Even the most challenging moments in this journey have nourished me toward seeing perspectives more marginalized than my own, that I may, in turn, more deftly nourish those people who will be in my spiritual care from all social locations. From here, I plan to continue working in chaplaincy at University of Louisville Hospital while I apply for residencies there and elsewhere, as well as continuing to write about spirituality and justice. As I launch forward, I will rely on the strengths that my professors and colleagues have helped me identify in myself to nourish both the individuals and worlds I encounter for the rest of my life.