Wildcat Tracks: Jenni Jurgenson ’14
Sometimes God makes better choices for us than we could have ever made for ourselves. This was certainly the case for Jenni Jurgenson. After completing her undergrad degree at the University of Tulsa, Jenni planned to begin work on her doctorate in audiology at Washington University in St. Louis. “During the first semester of my senior year of college, I was busy applying to various audiology schools around the country,” she says. “I had one goal in mind: to get my doctorate in audiology ASAP. But around November of that year, I felt God calling me to take a year off and do something different — a way to serve Him, and to help myself grow spiritually. I didn’t really know what this meant, but after talking with my campus minister, he suggested looking into a program called Fellows.”
Jenni had been involved with Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) throughout all four years of college. She considered interning with them, but decided the two-year commitment they require wasn’t a good fit for her. “I wanted to do something that would grow my relationship with the Lord, teach me something that I couldn’t learn in school, and not take me too far off of my path to become an audiologist. Fellows is a program for recent college graduates to learn how to have a ‘seamless life’ and how to be a Christian in a secular work world. I applied to a couple of programs and ultimately chose the one located in Birmingham, Alabama.”
After deferring her acceptance to Washington University for a year, Jenni packed up and moved south. “I lived with a host family, worked at an ENT office 30 hours a week, took four seminary classes with the 11 other people in the program, and was a 12th grade youth group leader. In addition, I worked with inner city kids once a week and went to various conferences or mission trips every month for a year. It was such an amazing experience. By working at the ENT office, I was able to stay within my field and enter audiology school with a lot of experience. I thought college was busy, but this 65 hour/week commitment was a new level of busy!”
Her time at Westminster prepared Jenni for the hard work ahead. “My high school experience carried over in many areas of my life, especially after going through worldview and Biblical ethics classes,” she says.
I didn’t go to a Christian college, so it was very beneficial to have the skills and tools we learned in those classes so I could think for myself, make godly decisions, stand my ground about what the Bible says, and lean into that truth. This has carried over into my post-college life as well.
“The Fellows program lasted nine months, and I can truly say that these were nine of the best months of my life,” Jenni says. “I grew more than I ever thought imaginable. Of course, just like anyone, I grew a lot in my four years of college, but these nine months were different. I learned that God created us to work. I learned that staying up until 2 a.m. was not a great idea anymore! I learned how to love people who were difficult to love. I learned invaluable time management skills. I learned a lot about the New Testament, Christ in culture, Jesus through Middle Eastern eyes, and so much more. I read countless books on being a Christian in one’s vocation. Many of the subjects we talked about during Fellows I remembered talking about in my worldviews class during my senior year of high school. It was a very cool experience to go back and revisit those topics. I learned, and am still learning, how to be a Christian adult in the fallen world that we live in. I would be lying if I said those nine months were easy. They were tiring, rigorous, and formative, but 100% worth it.”
Today, Jenni is in her second year of audiology school. “I’m back in St. Louis with a whole new set of responsibilities. Fellows helped prepare me for Washington University where 95% of the time, I’m the only Christian in a group. When I was a student at Westminster, I’m not sure where I thought my 24-year-old adult self would be in life, but I am so glad to be where I am,” she says. “I have a foundation God helped me to start by building my faith at Westminster, then through RUF and finally Fellows. I am not sure where I will eventually end up after graduation, but I am willing to go wherever the Lord leads me!”