Keegan Cheleden will be with the Council full-time this summer as an intern through Duke Divinity School. She introduces herself below:
My name is Keegan Cheleden. I grew up in Pasadena, California (the Rose Parade actually goes right by my parent’s home). I am going into my third year at Duke Divinity School and next May, I will graduate with a Master’s of Divinity.
When I started at Duke Divinity School, I came with a question to answer: What is the role of touch when caring for the dying? I had spent my undergraduate years as a Communication Studies major researching ethical dimensions of touch, hospice, and who is classified as the “dying.” The curiosity this question gave me was so profound I found myself wanting to go to Duke for an M.Div. and UNC for an MSW so that I could understand both the theological and sociological implications of touch when it came to those about to move out of this world.
In other words, I had a grand plan. I had a focus.
But then life happened and God moved and I switched everything up because of it.
I told the Duke Field Education office during my interview, “None of the things I came here for are engaging me. I don’t know what I want to do or who I want to work with anymore.”
We collectively decided that I needed a placement that would allow me to experience multiple populations and interest areas so that I could be open to where God might be asking me to go after I graduate from Duke.
Enter the North Carolina Council of Churches. I remember looking at this very website after I got the placement and thinking, “Is there any social issue they do not grapple with? This will be great.”
So here I am, knowing that I am in for a summer that will open me up to more questions and a passion to find the answers to them. I am grateful.