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Carolyn Held
Carolyn Held
Received her Master of Divinity Degree


Carolyn grew up in New Salem, North Dakota, home of the world’s largest (fiberglass) Holstein cow. Even when the snow was deep, her parents and all five kids used to cram into the pickup to get to church on Sunday. They always made it. Now, after a stint in electrical engineering, she’s completed her M.Div.

“Eden is where my grandpa went, where two of my great uncles went. I grew up hearing good things about Eden, and I never really thought about going anywhere else. I love the way Eden remembers its roots while striving to remain a prophetic voice for justice. Before I came here, I had been working as an electrical engineer, designing transformers. But I’d always been interested in a different kind of transformative power! Then, in 2001, I faced a crossroad in life, and I knew it was time to go to seminary.

“My call to seminary was pretty clear. But it was not always clear what direction I would go after finishing seminary. During my last year of seminary, I served as the chaplain at Lydia’s House for field education. It became clear to me that this was where I was called to serve. I love being a chaplain, and I appreciate the joys and challenges of working with women and children who have survived abuse. I can also see how the mission of Lydia’s House fits in with my understanding of God’s justice. We are called not only to care for those who have been abused, but to also speak out against violence that hurts or destroys our relationships within families and communities.”