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Callista Brown Isabelle, M.Div. '05
B.A. Gustavus Adolphus College 2000

I am a farm girl, a mountain woman, and until recently a city seminarian! I grew up on a farm in rural Iowa, and found my way to Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. There I played basketball and sang in choirs, and grew to love Lutheran liturgy. During college I sang in South Africa for a month with the Gustavus Choir and lived in the former East Germany for a semester, walking in Luther's footsteps and stumbling through basic German! Toward the end of college, I entered the candidacy process of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

I sensed God nudging me towards seminary, but I wasn't quite ready. I ventured to the mountains of Washington State to serve for two years at Holden Village. Holden is an ecumenical retreat center, rooted in the Lutheran tradition, which serves as a place apart for the thousands who journey there each year. Reachable only by boat, this remote mountain village is where I discerned my decision to attend Yale Divinity School.

In considering various denominational seminaries and divinity schools, I was drawn to study in an ecumenical environment with rigorous academics. Opportunities through the Institute of Sacred Music also drew me here. I grew to love YDS and New Haven, and have made them home.

Daily Chapel at YDS has been most important to my growth. Marquand Chapel has been a place of theological stretching, as well as the place where I find nourishment to make it through another week.

I leave YDS to begin my Lutheran internship year, returning to Gustavus Adolphus College to serve as Vicar in the Chaplains' Office. I continue on the path to ordination in the ELCA, with particular interests in college chaplaincy and outdoor ministries.