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Mara Bailey

B.A., Simpson College, 2006
M.Div, Perkins School of Theology (Southern Methodist University), 2010
After graduating from Simpson College in December 2005 with a major in Religious Studies, I attended Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, TX (on the Southern Methodist University campus) to pursue my Masters of Divinity degree.  Upon graduation from Perkins, my husband Jonathan and I moved to Nebraska where I served as the University Minister at Nebraska Wesleyan University for three years.  In 2012 I was ordained as an Elder in Full Connection with the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, and 2013 returned to Simpson College to serve as the Chaplain.  My husband is also an ordained Elder, serving as the lead pastor at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Urbandale, Iowa.  We live in Des Moines with our son, Elijah (“Eli”).
As a graduate of Simpson College, I consider it a blessing and privilege to return to work at my alma mater and be a part of the ministry that helped to form me as a student.  During my time as a student at Simpson, I discovered how I could connect my passions with the needs of the world around me, and that has led me to a job I can hardly consider work because I truly love it so much.  I love building connections and community across campus, and fostering relationships with our students, faculty, and staff.  I feel particularly called to encourage, uplift, and equip those who will serve in some form of ministry in the Church, whether as ordained or lay persons.
Personally, I enjoy spending time outdoors with my family in our garden and on walks, Taizé and contemplative worship, finding new places to try great food in Des Moines, cooking, baking, and knitting.