Rev. Dr. Suzanne Wenonah Duchesne has been an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church for sixteen years. Since 1999, she has served six very different congregations ranging from 60 to 1600 members in a variety of settings. She enjoys different styles of worship and working as a collaborative leader. Her experience includes suburban and Mainline predominantly white churches to urban multi-lingual, multi-cultural, inter-generational congregations who worship with styles ranging from Blended to highly sacramental Methodist, Maranatha style Contemporary to emergent Ancient-Modern. Her church experience and training in Gestalt Pastoral Care and Appreciative Inquiry helped her guide several congregations in their process of rediscovering their particular mission and vision. She developed her administrative skills through her work as an Executive Pastor at a large church and as a researcher at Merck Pharmaceuticals.
Deeply passionate about social justice, Suzanne’s relationships with individuals from various Indigenous Nations guides her work. She presently serves as the Communications Chair for the Northeast Jurisdiction on the Native American Ministries Committee, a member of the Eastern PA Conference Committee on Native American Ministries, and an antiracism trainer and member of the EPA CORE team.
Suzanne graduated from Drew Theological School with her PhD in Liturgical Studies in May 2019 with a dissertation titled Beloved Speech: Language and Legacies of Methodist Women Leaders of The Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference with Antiracist/Decolonizing Strategies for Preaching. Her dissertation draws from her experiences with Clergywomen in the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference from the Kiowa, Cherokee, MVSKOKE, and Choctaw Nations as well as members of the Chickasaw and Yuchi Nations. Her Master of Divinity degree is from Palmer Theological Seminary and her Bachelor of Science is in Life Science from Rowan University. She teaches courses in worship and preaching as an adjunct faculty member at Moravian Theological Seminary and Lexington Theological Seminary. Her creative work in preaching and worship is formed by her training as a fine artist and in the theater.
Besides her scholarly endeavors, teaching, and church relationships, Suzanne enjoys painting, dance, swimming, golf, sailing, anything French – including cooking, and spending time with her family, friends, her dog, cat and husband of almost 30 years (who is also a United Methodist pastor). Her spiritual life is enriched by observing the hours as an oblate of the United Methodist Benedictine order of St. Brigid of Kildare, Taizé prayer, and an online community of clergywomen she convenes in small group liturgical praxis.