Ashley Birt

Union Theological Seminary, M.Div


Pittsburgh, PA

Undergrad & Major(s)

Carnegie Mellon University, Creative Writing

What kind of service experience have you had in the past?

Mortar Board Honor Society, Mission trips, and volunteering at shelters and food pantries. 

How have you been involved in community service/social justice issues while in seminary?

Preaching, teaching, youth leading, blogging, and participation in organizations such as More Light Presbyterians and Parity

What type of ministry do you see yourself doing?

Children, Youth, and Young Adult Ministry

What topics or issues would you be open to sharing about with groups?

Racial Justice, LGBTQ Issues, Gender Equality, Intersectionality, and Spirituality through the Arts

What were your favorite courses in undergrad? Seminary?

My favorite courses in undergrad were Advanced Fiction, Playwriting, Creative Nonfiction, and Intro to Sound Design. I loved my writing courses because they showed me the versatility and strength that words can have to bring about laughter, emotion, and change. Sound Design changed my life as it made me consider the power of spectacle and technology while bringing about a passion I didn't know I had!

In seminary, my favorite courses were my preaching courses (Preaching and Worship, Preaching in Multi-Cultural Congregations, and Preaching in the Black Idiom) as well as Imagination and Improvisation. My preaching classes helped me find my voice and showed me the beauty of preaching in various cultural contexts, and the Imagination and Improvisation class expanded my understanding of what ritual and worship can look like.

What's your dream job?

Anything that lets me work with children and youth to discover their faith and use my voice to promote understanding, equality, and faith while still leaving some room for creative exploration.

What do you like to do when you're not working on changing the world?

Create sound and lighting designs, watch football, and cook things inspired by shows on the Food Network.