Imagery of church-related people and places.


Claire Theresa Ackley

Ministry setting

I'm a returning second year student in the M.Div. program at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque IA, my amazing home church is Holy Communion Lutheran Church in Racine WI, & I'm a part-time student librarian at the Reu Memorial Library at Wartburg.

What brings you joy in your ministry?

I love creating worship experiences for those who would ordinarily not be able to participate!!

Who inspires you in ministry or seminary?

My former pastor, the late Rev. Walter Hermanns is the reason I'm here, and he is who inspires me to reach out to the fringes of society with God's invitation to the table. Other inspirations include his wife Lynn, Rev. Mark Doidge and wife Heather, Rev. Laura Fladten, Rev. Jeff Barrow, Thom, Laura & Quinn, and of course my awesome family and friends.

What are your interests outside of ministry?

I love dogs (especially my cockapoo Padfoot), art, naps, and reading. I'm a fan of nerdy things like Harry Potter, Firefly, Doctor Who (new or old), and Star Trek TNG. I also love being an advocate for the underdogs! Whoop!!

Best meal you've ever eaten?

I think we get kicked out of seminary if our answer isn't Eucharist... ;)

Brief bio

I was born and bred on the shores of Lake Michigan's Milwaukee area. Despite many travels, I always come right back to this beautiful "Midwest Coast" of mine. Montessori School...dance class...Missouri Synod grade school...Girl Scouts...9 years of being a "Little Sister"...softball...public high school...annual deer hunting...trouble-making...University Wisconsin for undergrad in Art and Spanish...factory jobs...7 years of being a "Big Sister" to 3 amazing young ladies...adulting in the real world for a decade...teaching...dabbling in additional college courses...then I got "the call" and here I am!

Did you always want to be clergy?

My call to ministry came in 2012 when I helped to create a unique monthly worship experience for people with special needs. I left an extremely fulfilling teaching job, a perfect little cottage home of my very own, three wonderful "Little Sisters" through the Big Sisters program, and two amazing nephews in order to attend seminary. Most recently, I've been pulled in the direction of tying my ministry work into law enforcement. Discerning...

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