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Laura Widstrom, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Ministry
Whiteman-Gibbs Science Center
517.750.6794
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Bio

For 13 years, Laura Widstrom served as Director of Youth and Children’s Ministry for a large church in a suburban setting in my hometown of Rockford, Illinois. While immersed in the nuts and bolts of ministry, Widstrom continued my education and enjoyed exploring non-traditional means of communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ to learners of all ages.

Looking to provide jr. high students with an engaging confirmation experience, Widstrom developed a two-year experiential based curriculum. Her church has used the material for over a decade, shared it with a number of other churches, and has been excited about the impact it has made on the youth as they explore their faith.

Seeking to challenge the children in her church at a new level, Widstrom worked with a colleague to develop an eight-year Sunday School curriculum that takes learners sequentially through scripture. The material focuses on 24 key stories and aims to engage learners of all learning styles. The children who graduate from this ministry relay positive memories of engaging in authentic and meaningful learning experiences.

Widstrom also has an extensive interest in camping and service learning. After directing more than 50 work camps locally, regionally, and internationally, she loves providing opportunities for individuals to put feet on their faith and serve God’s people.

She is saddened by the disconnect that is often evident between the academy and the practitioners serving in ministry. Her hope is to be a voice that bridges that gap so that one might encourage and strengthen the other.

Whenever the sun is shining, you will find her out on the trails hiking, running, biking, or rollerblading. She enjoys water skiing, wakeboarding, x-country skiing, downhill skiing, swimming, and soccer. She also enjoys working in her garden and tackling home improvement projects.

She is also a licensed foster parent and the adoptive mother of two boys. She is passionate about the role of the church in providing for children whose lives are in crisis and am active in local ministries supporting foster and adoptive families.

Education

  • Ph.D.: Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 2007
  • M.A.: Wheaton College Graduate School, 2001
  • B.A.: Trinity Christian College, 1997