Luther Seminary is pleased to announce that Jenna Olson Popp ’23 M.Div. is the inaugural recipient of the Reverend Janet Karvonen-Montgomery Preaching Fellowship.
The fellowship supports a year of travel with the goal of providing freedom for the study of preaching in a variety of contexts and time for experiences related to preaching and worship. The stipend is intended to create opportunities for the fellow to gain insights and experiences by association, innovation, and exploration with other cultural contexts, broadening their understanding of proclaiming the gospel in the whole of Christ’s church.
Olson Popp, a 2023 MDivX graduate, plans to use her fellowship to explore this question: How can the institutional church return to Luther’s conviction that the church is where the Word is proclaimed and nourishing the faithful, moving away from buildings or traditional models of church, and reaching new populations in need of God’s grace and love?
Based in Minneapolis, San Francisco, and/or Boston, she plans to study campus ministry, prison ministry, and street ministry, learning from ministry leaders in these locations and making shorter trips around the U.S. Her project will explore how preaching brings together and sustains Christian worshiping communities outside the model of a traditional parish. She will also study how particular factors such as homelessness, trauma, and incarceration influence preaching and interpretation.
“After finishing the MDivX program, it’s a gift to be able to step back from leading and structured learning, and simply receive the gifts of Word and Sacrament alongside nontraditional worshiping communities across the country,” said Olson Popp. “My hope is that it will inspire and empower me in my call to share the gifts of Word and Sacrament with the world, especially those traditionally absent from Sunday worship who are no less deserving of God’s grace and mercy.”
About the Reverend Janet Karvonen-Montgomery Preaching Fellowship
After graduating from Luther Seminary in 2015, Janet Karvonen-Montgomery was awarded the Graduate Preaching Fellowship. She traveled to 15 countries, video recording interviews with 50 women pastors and leaders in her project, “Inspired by the Call.” The experience strengthened her call to ordained ministry, affirmed her voice for preaching, and enhanced her worldview. Janet and her husband, Al Montgomery, believe their family’s faith in the transformative power of the gospel of Jesus Christ has deepened through her seminary education and fellowship experience. They decided to endow a similar preaching fellowship to benefit others in the future.