Vicar Jesse Greenhagen


Jesse Greenhagen grew up in rural Minnesota, where he obtained a Lutheran education. He was especially active in his high school’s robotics program, as well as its soccer, cross country, and track teams. He left the great state of Minnesota for Indiana, where he attended Valparaiso University. He ran cross country collegiately, and, when training back home in the summers, he would run to the top of the steps of his hometown’s city hall and pause to punch his fists in the air in honor of Rocky Balboa. At Valparaiso, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and performed research on the university’s solar furnace. His undergraduate research focused on concentrating sunlight for the production of nitrogen as a transportation fuel. This research inspired him to pursue a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota.

Upon sojourning back to the wonderful state of Minnesota, he began research on silicon nanocrystals for brain imaging applications. It was also during his studies at the University of Minnesota that he began attending University Lutheran Chapel (ULC) in Minneapolis. At ULC, Jesse developed an interest in confessional Lutheran campus ministry. He served as ULC’s director of outreach for two years. He continued attending ULC upon graduating from the University of Minnesota and began working in the Twin Cities as an engineer for medical devices.

In 2020, a year after beginning his work in the medical device field, he left Minnesota once more for Indiana. This time he would begin his studies at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne as a seminarian student.

Being new to Philadelphia, Jesse is excited to run up the real steps that Rocky climbed and get to know the rest of the city through his continued long runs. He is, however, even more excited to get to know the people of Philadelphia. He recognizes that the ministry in Philadelphia is a marathon rather than a sprint, and he is thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of it at Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries.