Help Light the Way: The Luminary Scholarship Effort
Katie Monfortte: "I knew I would pursue my call, but the scholarship ensured that doing that was a real possibility."
Katie Monfortte, M.Div. 2015 and former Missional Fellow, passionately believes in walking alongside people in community. That passion is a thread that continues in Katie’s ministry today as the internship coordinator for the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church. In that role, Katie helps shape and cultivate community and spiritual formation with program interns and fellows.
Before studying at Wesley, Katie served in Honolulu, Hawaii, as a Global Mission Fellow with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church. While in Hawaii, Katie worked at a community center with children, youth and young adults, many of whom were recent immigrants to the United States and experiencing the effects of social inequalities.
Her experiences in Hawaii fueled Katie’s desire to learn more about missional theology and work to fight injustice in the world. Wesley’s Missional Fellows program at the Institute for Community Engagement originally drew Katie to study here.
“I really liked the focus of Wesley,” she said. “Leaving a community where I was serving and working, it was important to me that my ministry continues to focus on community. That special focus on God already being in communities, and tapping into God’s Spirit in organizations where God is already at work, was important.”
Like so many other students, a scholarship made it possible for Katie to study at Wesley.
“Going straight from college into serving for a couple of years, I wasn’t able to save up much money,” she said. “I knew that I would pursue my call, but the scholarship ensured that doing that was a real possibility.”
What Katie learned during her time at Wesley continues to inform her ministry today. She even incorporates some of her course textbooks on the spiritual disciplines into her work with interns at the General Board of Church and Society. Her studies helped shape her broad vision of what the church can be, she said.
“My time at Wesley really did help me cultivate my own voice and live into my love of spirituality and spiritual disciplines and understand the importance of walking with people,” Katie said. “Wesley really increased my confidence in my call to minister outside the local church.”
Katie also felt at home in the community of Wesley itself.
“The moment you walk into Wesley, there’s an air of hospitality and an openness around bringing your whole self,” she said. “I think God speaks most fully to us in community, through people and their passions and gifts. Other people help and challenge you to become more of your sacred self.” That kind of community is what she hopes to cultivate within her ministry in the future, she said.