Reason #4: Crazy Weather


Top 5 Reasons

To Support ULS for Your Year-End Giving

This post is part of our end-of-year series, in which 5 ULS staff members and students share reasons they support ULS in their year-end giving. We appreciate your support!

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Reason #4: Crazy Weather

From Becca Ehrlich, Associate Director of Admissions

When I was living in Philadelphia and discerning a call to Word and Sacrament ministry twelve years ago, a pastor friend of mine suggested that I meet with the Associate Director of Admissions at the then Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.


This was both smart and sneaky-smart, because I had never met a female pastor before and he knew that I should talk with one, and sneaky, because he knew that talking with Admissions staff at the seminary would most likely move me along in the process of applying for both seminary and candidacy in the ELCA and help me to follow my call from God.

I had lunch with the Associate Director at the time, Rev. Louise Johnson (who, incidentally, is now the president at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Iowa), at the diner down the street from the seminary. She was open and honest about what being a female pastor was like, and answered all my (strange and weirdly specific) questions about seminary, ordained ministry, and her own discernment journey.

After lunch, I asked if I could see the Chapel on campus, and she was more than happy to oblige. We entered the Chapel, and talked a while about worship opportunities on campus and special community events that happen there.

Someone Flipped a Switch…

When we walked into the Chapel, the sky was overcast but the weather was calm and normal. When we walked out of the Chapel a half-hour later, though, it was like someone had flipped a switch and we had walked onto the set of The Wizard of OZ during the tornado. The wind was so strong that it felt like we were running into a wind tunnel. When we ran under a tree, a huge branch came loose and came crashing down in front of us. We kept running as fast as we could towards our cars, now with our arms over our heads in case another branch decided to jump ship from its mother tree.

We were almost to our cars when Louise stopped suddenly. She turned into the wind, and looked up. I stopped too, wondering what was happening. After a brief second-long pause, she yelled into the wind and ominous-looking clouds: “OK, OK! SHE’LL GO TO SEMINARY!!!!”

Crazy weather aside, that day was the day I started taking seriously my discernment process and call from God. Speaking with Louise and talking through my questions, hopes, and fears about seminary and about ministry with someone who understood what I was going through and could answer my questions was instrumental in my discernment journey.

A Place to Discern

Becca Ehrlich - Graduation - with Katie Day

I think about that day often as I work in Admissions at ULS. Every day, I talk with people all over the country, from all different life situations, who are discerning calls to public ministry. And every day, I pray that God will use me to help someone on their own discernment journey, just as God used Louise that day. ULS is where future ministry leaders can discern their call from God in a safe and helpful environment– and pursue their call if and when they answer. Supporting ULS is a way to ensure that prospective students can continue discerning and pursuing their calls from God, so that people around world will hear and experience the unconditional love of Jesus.

Rev. Becca Ehrlich
Associate Director of Admissions
United Lutheran Seminary

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Image: Becca (left) at her graduation from LTSP in 2011 with Dr. Katie Day.