The fifth annual Nancy A. Hardesty Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by Christian Feminism Today, has been awarded to Elyssa Salinas-Lazarski.
Elyssa Salinas-Lazarski is entering her third year as a doctoral student studying theology and ethics at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Chicago. She has her B.A. in Theatre from Valparaiso University and a Master of Divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
After taking a year off to work in Hunger Education at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, she began her doctoral work. Her focus is on sex and body positive theology utilizing her Latina and Lutheran identities. Alongside her studies, she works in the Office of the President and as a teaching assistant in the Theology Department.
Her research interests include Lutheran Theology, Latinx Studies, Gender Studies, the Body Positive Movement, Sexual Ethics, and early church history. In her dissertation she seeks to construct a sex positive theology from paramount figures in the Christian tradition, including Paul, Augustine, and Luther. As she looks towards the future, her goal is to teach theology and religion in a seminary setting, working with future ministerial leaders.
Beyond her studies, Elyssa is a writer and poet at heart. Her articles have been published in We Talk, We Listen; The Mudroom; Naked and Unashamed; Cafe; and Word and World: Theology for Christian Ministry. She has performed poetry at various venues and spiritual events around Chicago. Weaving her poetry into her academic work, she artistically explores her theological concepts to speak to the heart while also speaking to the mind.
When she’s not studying theology, she is spending quality time with her husband and two cats. They look forward to meeting their daughter, who is due in October.
The Nancy A. Hardesty Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a student who aspires to exemplify the values and achievements of Nancy A. Hardesty, a founding member of the Christian Feminism Today organization, formerly known as EEWC (Evangelical and Ecumenical Women’s Caucus). The purpose of the $1,000 scholarship, awarded every June, is to help a student who wants to be in a leadership role that supports and promotes Christian feminism. Read more about the NAHMS here.
Read some selected articles by Elyssa Salinas-Lazarski:
“God and my Body” on Cafe
“The spirit of matriarchy” on Cafe
“A Meeting Place” on The Mudroom
“Almost Latina – Elyssa Salinas, M.Div.” on We Talk. We Listen.
“‘Emancipatory Potential’: Women Experiencing the Gospel” on Word and World