Rev. Kelli Parrish Lucas, M.Div., earned her Masters of Divinity at the Claremont School of Theology where in addition to required course work her studies included feminist liturgy, feminist theology, the ecumenical history of social thought, liberation theology, and disability ministry. Kelli was both born with disabilities and lives with acquired disabilities, and as such she acknowledges the unique social location she theologizes and ministers from, even as she embraces a passion for exploring all the possible topics of disability ministries with others.
Kelli completed what is believed to be original research into the history of ecumenical responses to disability. In 2010, Kelli began teaching students and professional chaplains about “providing spiritual care to persons with disabilities.” Kelli was ordained in May 2011 by the Southern Association of the Southern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ.
Kelli currently serves as Pastor at First Congregational Church in Rock Springs, Wyoming and as the North American Coordinator for the Ecumenical Disabilities Advocacy Network, a program of the World Council of Churches. Formerly served as Associate Pastor at Altadena Community Church, ten years as a hospice chaplain, a Board Member-Secretary-and Web Worker for United Church of Christ Disability Ministries, Board Member of UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries, and in those days she was always looking for a nap. Kelli once served on the Planning Committee and worship teams for the Annual Gathering of the Southern California Nevada Conference (2008-2011) as well as the 2011 “Widening the Welcome” Conference, a disability ministry conference sponsored by UCCDM.
Prior to seminary Kelli served as the Christian Education Director at the Community Congregational Church of Pacific Beach UCC, served two years in AmeriCorps, and coordinated social service programs for local non-profit/public partnerships. Kelli earned her B.A. in Poetic Mediums: Poetry, Performance and Book Arts from Mills College, where she also was a member of the swim team. Kelli has published three books of poetry, and was one of the co-founders of 4nth (4 to the Nth) a women’s spoken word/poetry performance troupe.