New chaplain found her calling at Lakeland
Emma Landowski came to Lakeland with plans of becoming the pastor of a congregation. Her Lakeland journey helped lead her to a different calling.
After graduating from Lakeland in the fall of 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in religion and non-profit management, she moved to St. Louis, Mo., where she attended Eden Theological Seminary and graduated with a Master of Divinity. Years of discernment, experiences, trauma and grace helped her find her way into the healthcare system.
Last fall, she was named chaplain at Ascension Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Ozaukee in Mequon, Wis.
She strives to meet each individual wherever they are on life’s journey and to walk with them through their experiences of transition, trauma or celebration. After completing residency in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at St. Louis University Hospital, she was ordained into the United Church of Christ last November and moved back to Wisconsin with her husband, Nick, to begin her new role.
Landowski provides for the emotional and spiritual needs of patients, their families and hospital staff, assists with end-of-life conversations and oversees a weekly spiritual support group in the behavioral health unit where she helps people unpack any religious or spiritual trauma.
She recently returned to Lakeland for the annual Humanities & Fine Arts Colloquium, an event that allows current and prospective LU students to meet and head from successful Lakeland graduates. She said her Lakeland experience was a launching pad for her career as it allowed her a place to forge a career path.
“There is this idea or expectation that we have to have it all figured out,” Landowski said. “I still don’t have it all figured out. Give yourself permission to acknowledge where you’re at in life and that you’re not going to have it all figured out and that’s OK.”
Landowski said Lakeland is a smaller version of the world due to its diversity, which also helped her grow.
“I had classmates from all over the world and their views shaped the conversations we had,” she said. “It helped me open my own perspective of the world. I went from working with like-minded people to working with people from all different backgrounds and viewpoints. I found a passion for interfaith and intercultural relationships.”
Landowski said humanities and fine arts courses and programs help students become well-rounded individuals who are curious, always learning and growing and motivated to be involved in their community.
She especially noted the positive impact of longtime Lakeland faculty member Karl Kuhn, Ph.D., now the dean of Lakeland’s School of Humanities and Fine Arts, as a teacher, advisor and mentor during her time at LU.