Pastor Jen holds degrees from Miami University (Bachelors of Creative Writing and Mass Communications), Chapman University (dual Master of Fine Arts in English Literature and Creative Writing), Princeton Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity), and Duke University (Doctor of Ministry).
Pastor Jen grew up in a UCC church, was ordained in the Presbyterian (USA) Church, and now has dual standing in both denominations. Having previously served at churches in Philadelphia, PA, Liberty, OH, Prairie Village, KS, and Lincoln, NE, she is passionate about incorporating creativity, art, and fresh liturgy in worship, connecting people of faith in fellowship, and teaching the rich stories of the Christian faith to disciples of all ages.
When she isn’t writing a sermon or dreaming about the Church, Jen can be found playing with her daughter Clementine, walking her 3 rescue dogs, cuddling her 2 potbelly pigs, reading fiction, drinking lattes, cooking vegetarian food, watching movies, or sitting on the beach. She and her husband love to travel and find out what God is up to in other parts of the world.
Pastor Jacob received his Bachelors in the Comparative Study of Religion at Harvard University, his Masters of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary where he and Pastor Jen were classmates, and his Doctor of Divinity in Christian Leadership at Duke Divinity School.
Pastor Jacob grew up in a Deaf family and during seminary started a Deaf church conducted entirely in American Sign Language. Pastors Jen and Jacob then moved to Lincoln, Nebraska where Jacob served at First-Plymouth Congregational Church until Pastors Jen and Jacob received their call to serve as co-pastors of Claremont United Church of Christ in 2016.
Pastors Jen and Jacob were married in Budir, Iceland on May 27, 2014. If you ask them, “Why Iceland?” they will likely respond, “Why not?” They have three beloved rescue dogs, Moses, Sophie, and Oliver and two rescue potbelly pigs named Hattie and Winnie. In 2022, they welcomed their precious human daughter, Clementine Jubilee Strickland. Jen and Jacob consider themselves “church nerds” who eat/sleep/breathe all things ministry-related, but outside of church they both love spoiling their 7 nieces, curling up with a good book, listening to podcasts, international travel, and eating vegetarian food.