Sonrisa Cortes Hired as New Wesley Campus Minister

The Wesley Foundation at Michigan State University has hired Sonrisa Cortes as the new director and campus minister.

Sonrisa Cortes (far right) accompanies the youth of Holland: First UMC during their mission trip to Alaska in 2022. ~ photo courtesy Sonrisa Cortes

Article courtesy of MIConnect, a publication of the UMC Michigan Conference.

The Wesley Foundation at Michigan State University has hired Sonrisa Cortes as the new director and campus minister.

The Board of Directors of the Wesley Foundation at Michigan State University (MSU) is pleased to announce, effective July 1, 2024, that Sonrisa Cortes will become the campus ministry’s new full-time director. Most recently, Sonrisa served as part-time Student Ministries Director at Holland: First UMC and a full-time therapist with Arbor Circle in Grand Rapids.

United Methodist deacons
Rev. Luanne Hook (left), Director of Community Involvement at Holland: First UMC, and Sonrisa (right) celebrate Sonrisa’s commissioning as a deacon in The United Methodist Church at the 2024 Michigan Annual Conference. Luanne is Sonrisa’s mentor through the ordination process. ~ photo courtesy Sonrisa Cortes

Originally from upstate New York, Sonrisa holds a Master of Divinity and a Graduate Certificate in Disability Ministry from Western Theological Seminary in Holland. She also has a Master of Social Work from Grand Valley State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from Purchase College, State University of New York (SUNY). Her counseling specialties include substance use disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, trauma-informed care, depression, anxiety, LGBTQ+ matters, gender identity, and spirituality.

In addition, Sonrisa was recently commissioned as a provisional deacon at the 2024 Michigan Annual Conference during the Service of Recognition, Commissioning, and Ordination.

The Wesley at MSU Board of Directors is confident with Sonrisa’s ability to create a safe and nurturing environment where students are empowered to navigate their faith journeys, foster relationships, and further develop leadership skills. They are also impressed with her energy and ideas for helping to revive and reshape this important ministry.

Kait Szczypka, board chair, said, “The Wesley Foundation at MSU is excited to bring Sonrisa Cortes on as the next director of our campus ministry. As we reimagine and rebuild our beloved ministry, the board found Sonrisa to be an excellent match to help lead us into this new phase.”

Sonrisa’s background as a therapist will be beneficial as she begins her role as campus minister. “Some of the biggest things young people are facing right now are depression and anxiety,” she explained. “So, my primary goal right now is meeting students, establishing authentic connections, and creating a truly safe space with Wesley at MSU.”

The Wesley Foundation at MSU is a community of college-aged people, whether or not they are enrolled in a college program. The campus ministry is based out of University UMC in East Lansing, just off the main campus of MSU. The Wesley Foundation at MSU is one of the eight campus ministries supported by the Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Last Updated on June 17, 2024Posted in FeaturedNewsTagged Campus MinistryMSU Wesley FoundationSonrisa CortesWesley at MSUWesley FoundationsYoung Adults

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