About Ugena Whitlock

After being an academic for over 15 years, one day I felt called to something else, something more. Within these pages, I trace the jourey of following that call.

Welcome to my blog and Ministerial Ordination Portfolio! Like me, it’s a work in progress!

I have been blogging for for over ten years. From 2018-2020, I was took a semi-break from blogging while I worked on my Master of Divinity (MDiv). At the same time, I became a Member in Discernment (MID) in the United Church of Christ. The culmination of the degree and discernment process is ordination to UCC ministry.

One of the requirements for ordination is preparation of a portfolio of materials demonstrating how I meet the Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministry as described in the UCC Manual on Ministry. I am combining passion and call to present my portfolio at this site–where I have spent so many fulfilling hours, grappling with thoughts and words. My blog, Just Keep Swimming: Memoir That Matters, is a place where I try to make sense of what goes on in the world around me.

Over the next few months, this site, justkeepswimming.life, will become more than a blog and an author’s website. It will house the narrative and artifacts of my formation, faithfulness, and growth in ministry according to the Marks. I give account of my sense of call and my journey of preparation for authorized ministry.

I live in Marietta, Georgia, with Sarah, our dogs Duncan and Caroline, and two cats Spike and Trevor. A native of North Alabama, I hold a B.S.Ed. in English and History from Athens State University, a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction from Coppin State College, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction with a specialization in Curriculum Theory and Women’s & Gender Studies from Louisiana State University. I have a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University.

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