The Rev. Jen Rude was named the University Pastor at Pacific Lutheran University in August, 2016.
Before coming to PLU Jen served as the program director for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, a national support and advocacy organization for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer) pastors and seminarians. For eight years Jen served as an Outreach Minister with The Night Ministry in Chicago, where she provided pastoral care, crisis response and advocacy in an interfaith and multicultural setting for young adults experiencing homelessness. In 2007, Jen was extraordinary ordained at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Chicago and served there as Associate Pastor. After policy change at the national level removed barriers for partnered LGBTQ clergy, Jen was received onto the ELCA roster in 2011.
Jen received her Masters of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and her B.A. in Religion with Gender Studies and Psychology minors from ELCA-affiliated Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Jen is a member of Proclaim, the professional community for publicly identified LGBTQ Lutheran rostered leaders and those preparing for rostered leadership. Proclaim is a program of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries.
As newcomers to the Pacific Northwest, Jen and her spouse Deb Derylak live in the Parkland area. In addition to ministry, Jen enjoys hiking and exploring, vegetarian cooking, brewing homemade kombucha, tending to her composting worms, and dreaming and scheming about living in a Tiny House.
As part of her role as University Pastor, the Rev. Rude leads Sunday worship and Wednesday chapel each week on campus, but she has a goal to meet students wherever they are throughout the university as she helps guide faith journeys in an ecumenical and interfaith setting.