“The thing you must be is yourself. Unadulterated, shedding the willingness to journey alone…” – Julian Jamaica Soto, “Spilling the Light” from Spilling the Light: Meditations on Hope and Resilience
Jennifer Springsteen

About Jennifer

I am a chaplain, a writer, and an educator. I have journeyed from my young life in Virginia through my brief tenure as a high school English teacher until I packed my little red car and drove across country to Portland, Oregon.

Once there, without another teaching gig, I found a temporary position at the law firm Stoel Rives, LLP and stayed for three years. I met many of my closest friends and my husband, Joe Springsteen. I was also inspired to receive mediation training and I mediated with the Multnomah County Small Claims Court. Longing to work with youth once more, I accepted a position working with AmeriCorps members to bring Service-Learning strategies to students and teachers. By the time my daughter was born in 2005, I was teaching teachers and administrators in civic engagement and peace study curriculum, wearing my baby on my chest as I taught.

In 2010 when my daughter started kindergarten, my dear friend and I incorporated our small writing business and became PDX Writers, LLP. We created a wonderful community of writers offering workshops, retreats and editing services. When Covid hit, we folded closer together, offering our services online, and in that time of great separation, our community strengthened.

Also in 2010, I took a part-time job with the nonprofit Dual Diagnosis Anonymous, an organization focused on those with mental illness and in recovery, writing grant proposals, creating budgets, and maintaining the office systems. It was with this population, once in seminary, I deepened my grief work.

It was August 2019 when I started my low-residency seminary with Starr King School for the Ministry, then in Berkely and now in Oakland, California. I graduated in May 2023 during my parish internship with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver, WA.

After 25 great years in the Pacific Northwest, I longed to return to my Southern roots, and luckily, my husband and daughter were up for the venture. With a resident chaplain position at Mary Washington Hospital, and my daughter accepted into the Honors Program at University of Mary Washington, we sold our home, packed, and flew with our cat and rabbit to Virginia to begin our new life.