Meet Our Current Perkins Student Ambassadors

By Margot Perez-Greene

The Perkins Graduate Student Ambassador Program was established so that current students could serve in the recruitment process by working closely with the Ministry Discernment Associates (MDA) in the Office of Enrollment Management (OEM). Under the guidance of the MDA’s, the participating Ambassadors connect with prospects through various on and off campus events administered by the Office of Enrollment Management. Ambassadors provide personal insights into the application process, the Perkins community, seminary life, campus navigation, access to outside scholarships and so much more.

Here are two of the four students currently serving as Ambassadors. We’ll introduce the others in the next issue of Perkins Perspective Online.

Rosedanny Ortiz: In Her Own Words

Ortiz, 30, is originally from Puerto Rico and currently living in Forney, Texas. She serves as lead pastor at Casa Linda Church, a United Methodist congregation in Dallas.

Why did you choose Perkins?

Since the day I accepted my call to ministry, I wanted to be prepared. What better way than to go back to school?  I was already looking at SMU for a master’s in engineering, so I changed my route to a Master of Divinity program. As soon as I attended an Inside Perkins event, I immediately felt at home. What I learned from the Perkins community, its students, professors and staff, represents a very blessed opportunity in my life.

Can you tell us about your call?

I was around 5 to 6 years old, attending Vacation Bible School at Charles W. Drees Methodist Church in Guayama, Puerto Rico, where I saw the pastor in the pulpit and thought, “I want to do that too, to talk to others about God.” It was there where I felt called to ministry, but I didn’t understand what it meant at that time.

When I came to Dallas with my husband, I began to serve Casa Linda Church, and after some discernment, I came to understand that I needed to start what God called me to do, ministry. I’m excited that I get to do this daily in the church where I finally accepted my call to ministry, Casa Linda! I’m blessed to lead this church with enthusiasm and passion for where God is calling us to be.

What are you goals upon completing your time with Perkins?

One of my goals is to begin the commissioning process of an elder in the North Texas Conference. Also, to find new ways to connect with the community, partner with other UMC churches to enrich ministry, and work on our congregation’s unity and diversity.

Tripp Gulledge: In His Own Words

Tripp Gulledge is from Mobile, Ala., and is a first-year Master of Divinity student.

Why did you choose Perkins?

I chose Perkins because I believe everyone here is shaped by a serious sense of calling. I originally did some online research about Perkins because I’m a lifelong United Methodist, so the official UMC schools seemed a good place to start looking for graduate theological education. After doing thorough research about degree programs, the faculty, and the balanced curriculum of the M.Div., I felt that Perkins was the best place to receive comprehensive theological education and formation. Also, at Perkins, everyone is sincere about whatever work they do, be it teaching, preaching, or advocacy, and I’m grateful for that.

What are you goals upon completing your time with Perkins?

After graduation, I will seek ordination as an elder in the United Methodist Church. One day, I hope to write books and youth and children’s Christian education curriculum. If the Lord leads in such a way, I would love to pursue further theological education and possibly teach at the post-secondary level.


OEM will continue to share these personal stories and biographical information in the next few issues of Perkins Perspective Online. In the meantime, our Ambassadors are busy at work scheduling their participation with Samantha Stewart for future virtual events. To date, our Ambassadors have been a welcome addition to all on and off campus events. All in the OEM department look forward to continued dialogue as we consistently move toward improvement of recruitment activities.