Pastor Melissa came to ministry as a second career. She continues to teach psychology when she can and sees counseling clients as a ministry of Unity. Pastor Melissa is known for dedication to social justice and sense of humor. She lives with feline roommates, advocates for animals of all kinds, and remains close to her family, who live in New Kent County, Virginia.
She earned a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York City where she studied Interfaith and Ecumenical Theology. Following graduation she spent a “Lutheran Year” at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, now United Lutheran Seminary. Before theological study she earned Masters’ degrees in Developmental Psychology (University of California, San Diego) and Counseling Psychology (Bowie State via University of Maryland University College Europe). After many years of part-time study and long commutes, she earned a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from the Pastoral Counseling Department at Loyola University Maryland.
Pastor Melissa tries to keep the local congregation connected to the work of our Delaware Maryland Synod and the churchwide ministries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American (ELCA). She serves on the Racial Justice Ministry Team, the African Descent Strategy Implementation Taskforce, and the Opioid and Addictions Awareness Team.
She has lived, studied, and worked in California, Texas, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York, Japan, Korea, Germany, and Italy. Despite these travels, she only speaks English with any fluency, though she loves to research language and its impact on psychological and spiritual health. She reads widely and advocates for Social, Reproductive, Economic, and Racial Justice because she believes Christ would do so.
If you would like to talk about your spiritual life, the Bible, Womanist theology, Marvel comic movies, or how to be a force for good as part of your faith life, please contact Pr. Melissa. She will, of course, be happy to address other questions, especially about worship at Unity.