Pastor Jen Anderson was born and raised in Yankton, South Dakota. Growing up she did a good bit of construction work with her dad and a whole lot of gymnastics. During high school she began feeling called into ministry, was active with her church youth group and served on the District and Conference Councils of Youth Ministries in the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church.
She received her Bachelor of Arts in Religion/Philosophy from Jamestown College (Jamestown, ND) in 2008. While in college, Jen worked and served in a variety of settings. She helped with Vacation Bible School and counseled at Junior High church camps in North and South Dakota. She could be found folding and stuffing mass-mailings in the college Service Department as a work-study student or coaching gymnastics classes at the local Jamestown Gymnastics Club. She was a Resident Assistant and later an Assistant Resident Director in a freshman dorm. She also volunteered part-time with AmeriCorps for a year, served as one of the two Student Chaplains on campus for a year and served as a Co-Youth Director for the combined youth group at First UMC and St. Paul’s UMC for two years. In the summer of 2006 Jen helped lead and chaperone a Junior High mission trip to the Spirit Lake Reservation in North Dakota, joined up with a group of Dakota Wesleyan students on a mission trip to Chincha Peru, joined a group of United Methodist Women (and one woman’s husband) from across the U.S. on an Ubuntu eXplorer Journey to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa, and just to make sure that summer wasn’t missing any excitement, Blair proposed!
Pastor Jen and Blair were married in May of 2007 at their home church in Yankton, SD. It was during their final year of college that Pastor Jen served her first appointment at New Rockford UMC and Kvernes ELCA as a student pastor.
In 2008 Jen and Blair moved down to Durham, NC for Jen to attended seminary at Duke University. While in seminary, she interned at Christ Church in Hickory, NC and the Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina. In 2011 she received her Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School.
She returned to coaching gymnastics for a year until coming to Calvary UMC in May 2012. Jen was Commissioned as a Provisional Member of the Dakotas Annual Conference in June 2012 and is seeking to be ordained as an elder.