Rev. Jessica Morris, a native of Tampa, FL, quickly made Memphis her home. Her connection with Hope Church as a teenager brought her to Memphis to attend Crichton College. She felt a call to ministry and to seminary, and to staying in Memphis. Memphis Theological Seminary was and is the only seminary in Memphis that welcomes women in ministry, so Jessica knew MTS was right for her. She could enjoy the benefits of classroom learning while serving in congregational ministry. She could tell just from her visit to campus for Preview Day that MTS’s faculty were passionate about ministry and community in Memphis.
Once enrolled as a student, Jessica celebrated the encouraging, welcoming environment. Her professors invested in her, not just as a seminarian, but also as a person of faith wanting to learn and grow spiritually. She loved the diversity of generations, denominations, genders, and races among MTS’s faculty and students, which allowed for rich conversations in and beyond the classroom, many of which she continually references in her preaching.
Jessica had served Hope Church as youth group volunteer, Senior High Intern, and Girls Senior High Director. Hope ordained Jessica in 2015, making her their first female pastor. She currently serves as Hope’s Assistant Pastor of Ministry
Reflecting on her education at MTS and how this has equipped her for ministry, Jessica shared: “MTS emphasized Jesus’s call to love and care for the marginalized. This prepared me to truly be the hands and feet of Christ in my context. It also offered me the lens, equipping, and resources to various ministries within the city to live out the gospel.” Not only did MTS give her a solid foundation of theological education, but its “hands-on seminary” approach equipped her to “actively live out the Bible” in ministry.