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Rev. Elizabeth Stout '62

My choice of History and Literature of Religions was an impractical but compelling area of graduate study. Then, I was employed at Northwestern University Press, starting as Promotions Manager and ending as Production and Design maven. It was a real trip to be directed by Dr. Edmund Perry at one of the first universities to offer degrees in comparative religions. My career for 35 years turned out to be as a writer and editor for educational publications. Just to make sure they were dry enough. In the 1970s few women attended divinity school, my real objective. Eventually I did graduate from McCormick Theological Seminary, and also Loyola for advanced degrees in religion. I have had a gratifying private practice of spiritual direction since 1990. Ecumenical, and then Interfaith, activities have always had my attention. I explore people, places, and spiritual practices in my travels and travails. My across-the-board understanding of religion could be said to have prevented my ordination in two mainline Christian denominations. My view was not parochial enough. At age 63, my ordination as Interfaith Minister took place in New York City, after a two-year program. At Cathedral of St. John the Divine, thank you very much. I didn’t become a reverend for $39.95 via Internet. My ministries are creative and community-wide in Evanston, and combine with quirky writing, editing, and the arts. What I learned at N.U. was phenomenology (respect, careful listening, and suspension of judgment), all important for thriving in the 21st Century.