Public Pastor and Theologian.- I used to be an ordained Pastor inside the institution of the church. However, when the institution and I came into conflict over my desire to pursue a life that would be good news of great joy for all people without exception, I set out on a new journey where I found a whole lot of people who wanted a pastor, but who weren’t all that likely to go to church. This is primarily whom I walk with and do theology for full time these days.
Deliberate Walker - I once walked across the United States. 4200 miles in 369 days. Since then I’ve preferred a slower pace and cultivating a holy curious about everything there is to see along the way. I walk with intention, but not necessarily with specific direction. My intention is to learn how to walk with God and how to walk with whomever God places in my path.
Long Thinker - I believe knowledge can be gained in soundbites and glances, but wisdom comes from long listening and an even longer view. I enjoy diving in deep, am not all that interested in “hot takes” or “one-liners” and enjoy messy conversations way more the tidy conclusions.
Redemptive Practitioner - I've walked through my share of grief yet remain a tenacious optimist. My hope continues to be rooted in a strong belief that there is life to be found after every death and is sustained by a God whose own wounds contained a redemptive storyline.
Embodied Believer- You can find me on Instagram @walkingpastor, or on Facebook at Judy Howard Peterson, but as someone who believes the body is holy and invites people to fully embody their beliefs, social media always feels a bit disembodied to me. Someday, I do hope we can all go on long walks with one another, sit together around the same tables and embrace the fullness of every-body.
These experiences and a host of others have led me to deconstruct much of the Evangelical theology and practices in which I was raised. However, I remain in love with the God whom I have met through the life of Christ, am fascinated by chasing after the Spirit and find the tender and prophetic ways Jesus stood with those marginalized by the world and religion and am trying to make a reasonable run at this myself.
The Resume Details. I have worked as a waitress, a landscaper, a teacher, an administrator and a pastor. I received a Master of Divinity from North Park Theological Seminary and was credentialed in the Evangelical Covenant Church for 20 years. During that time I was a pastor in churches both in Madison, WI and Elgin, IL and served as the Campus Chaplain of North Park University for 11 years. I am an internationally known preacher and conference leader and continue to use my gifts in these ways. I am also the founder and President of Haecceitas Inc, a non-profit that seeks to provide pastoral care and spiritual hospitality for those outside the traditional confines of the church.
Life: I have been married to Jeff for 22 years and I can't imagine having walked through this life without him. We have a Boxer dog named Arlo and we spend our time between Chicago, Illinois and Marinette, Wisconsin. If you’re ever in either place and up for a long walk filled with deep conversation, I’m your person.
You can follow me @walkingpastor on IG and at Judy Howard Peterson on Facebook.
Let's Master this MOUNTAIN together!
With an aim to be a welcoming community and fostering belonging for all, this year we are creating space to talk about hard things and healing them.