My name is Chet Jechura and my passion lies at the intersection of faith, social ethics, and public policy. Faith ought to guide one’s actions, social ethics is the scaffold from which morally sound public policy is envisioned and created, and public policy can be one effective vehicle for the realization of social ethics and ultimately, social justice.
Although I spent most of my childhood and high school years growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, I have had the privilege to live in many parts of the United States: from Boston, Massachusetts to Bentonville, Arkansas. In the summer of 2006, I participated in an intensive high school immersion trip and lived in Tacna, Peru with a family whose generosity forever changed my life. In my short time living in South America, I encountered extreme poverty that was accompanied by unimaginable kindness and mercy. I vowed to return to the United States to do what I can to play a role in making a difference by working for social justice.
I am a pragmatic visionary. From campaign management, to lobbying for a non-profit, to working in government affairs for the world’s largest retailer, and now to my current work at Eleison Group, a faith-based political, governmental, and non-profit consulting and strategic communications firm in Washington, D.C., I bring a broad set of experiences and skills to the table. My unique blend of urban education and rural organizing and activism have enabled me to build productive and meaningful relationships with conservatives and progressives alike in all parts of the country.
My decade of Roman Catholic, Jesuit education has left me constantly thinking critically about issues of social justice with great concern for those whose voices are unheard, for those who live their lives on the margins of civil society. The following quote from Audre Lorde animates my reflection: “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single- issue lives.”
I earned the Master of Theological Studies degree in social ethics from Boston College, where I was blessed to study under Lisa Sowle Cahill, M. Shawn Copeland, James Keenan, and Andrea Vicini. In addition to my studies at Boston College, I have taken courses at Boston University, School of Theology and Harvard Divinity School. Prior to living in Boston, I resided for four years in Chicago where I earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and philosophy from Loyola University Chicago. I am a member of the American Academy of Religion and I occasionally publish peer-reviewed articles in academic journals as an independent scholar in the field of theological ethics. To date, my scholarship has appeared in The Heythrop Journal, Asian Horizons, Theology and Sexuality, and the Journal of the American Academy of Religion.
I live in Washington, D.C. and am an active member of Foundry United Methodist Church, where I am answering God’s call to ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church and taking courses at Wesley Theological Seminary to earn the Master of Divinity degree in pastoral ministry.