Meet Liesebet Gravley

News | April 1, 2015

Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. I am the oldest and have two younger brothers. I grew up singing in choirs and playing sports, particularly soccer.

My mom was our church musician, so I spent much of my time growing up at church.


Where did you go to college?
I went to Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. I studied physics because I love applied math, and German because I enjoy foreign language. While there, I sang in the Wittenberg Choir, tutored math and physics, and held leadership positions in my sorority.

After Wittenberg, I studied space weather at the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. My master’s research was in upper atmospheric physics.

After finishing my master’s, I started the Ph.D. program as I waited to hear back from ELCA Global Missions about an opportunity to serve as a volunteer teacher in Slovakia.

I was selected for one of the positions and served in a Lutheran school for two years teaching English conversation.

When I came back to Oklahoma, I worked as a lab tech for an oil company. During that time I did a lot of volunteering at my home congregation and in my community, which finally led me to seminary at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

What is your personality like?
I am a warm, approachable, relaxed, and studious person. I care about people and relationships. I am also up for trying new things and going to new places.

What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about music, animals, and cross-cultural experiences. Music, particularly choral music, is a spiritual experience and my favorite way to connect to God. My parents instilled caring for animals as well as people, and I have two dogs who are rescues.

My cross-cultural experiences have shaped and formed me into who I am today. I feel that it is important to learn about other cultures within our own country and across the world. It helps me feel connected to others and has helped me learn to appreciate who I am and where I come from.

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