Fellowship Program Director

Melanie Weldon-Soiset loves languages and books. Her parents tell her she delighted in speaking her own secret language as a baby, and Melanie’s teachers often had to tell her to “shush!” during class. Thankfully, this native Georgian found a productive way to engage her linguistic interests by studying Spanish and Comparative Literature at the University of Georgia. Melanie also loves opposites, and tries to find deeper paradoxes in them. Perhaps this craving to connect disparate things contributed to her calling to China. Along with her husband Brian, Melanie moved to Hangzhou, China in 2011 to study another language, Mandarin. A passion for paradox drives her Methodist thirst for theology, so Melanie earned her Master of Divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., in 2010. She put this degree to good use as the Director of Christian Education at Western Presbyterian Church from 2010-2011. In Shanghai, she flexed her MDiv muscles as the Teaching Pastor at a nondenominational church of 2000 immigrants. With members from over 100 nations and six continents, the church provided daily challenges and joys in multicultural ministry!

After almost five years in China, Melanie returned to the United States, and to D.C., in 2016. She is thrilled to serve as the Fellowship Program Director at Sojourners, and is simultaneously pursuing ordination as a Deacon in the United Methodist Church. Her hobbies include preparing fusion recipes, poetry writing, and contemplating apt alliteration while walking on nearby greenways.

Posts By This Author

Letters: Fostering Conversation

by Melanie Weldon-Soiset 02-03-2015
Letter to the Editors

Letter to the Editors

Teachable Moments

Seminary graduates share what they learned about God's call to social justice.

What's in a Name?

by Melanie Weldon-Soiset 07-14-2011

Our current practice in the U.S. actually reflects the earlier legal reality of coverture: In the process of the "two becoming one flesh," the wife lost her rights to property, legal representation in court, and even her public identity as her husband became the sole representative for the family. This combination of identities (or, rather, the wife becoming lost in her husband's identity) led to wives taking their husbands' last names. For me, losing my surname would have represented silent assent to this oppressive practice.

How I've Learned to Talk About Race

by Melanie Weldon-Soiset 01-17-2011
I confess: I used to cringe every time I heard the "R" word.

The Truth of Tax Transparency Will Set Us Free

by Melanie Weldon-Soiset 01-04-2011
It's started. I saw my first ad for a tax help company on TV yesterday, and I received an email recently about using an online service to settle my bill with the government.

Balancing Stillness and Action

by Melanie Weldon-Soiset 08-16-2010
Like many others who are currently unemployed or partially employed, this seminary graduate finds herself with unexpected time on her hands.

Ahead of Sudan Vote, Concern over Interference by Lord's Resistance Army

by Melanie Weldon-Soiset 04-06-2010

The murderous regime in Khartoum is showing its true colors again. While they parade and pretend to be preparing for fair elections next week, they are simultaneously giving the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) safe haven in Darfur.

Clear Benchmarks for Sudan

by Melanie Weldon-Soiset 01-22-2010

As many of us know with New Year's resolutions, the ones that will most likely lead to success are the ones that come with a detailed plan: stepping stones, goals, and -- most of all -- concrete deadlines.

TIAA-Cref Divests from Sudan Oil Interests

by Melanie Weldon-Soiset 01-08-2010
While the situation in Sudan remains dire (and could worsen as the country faces volatile elections this spring), Christians can celebrate a recent story of hope: the first major U.S.

Advent, Mary, and Sudan

by Melanie Weldon-Soiset 12-02-2009

The season of Advent always invites me to contemplate many facets of Christianity: the contrast between what God extols versus the world's values, the power of patience, and the strength of hope. While important in all times and places, each of these themes can especially speak this year to the current situation in Sudan.

'Jose Illegal' is a Lie

by Melanie Weldon-Soiset 08-07-2009
It's an e-mail to make your blood boil.

Demanding Justice for the People that Harvest our Food

by Melanie Weldon-Soiset 07-28-2009

Last weekend I watched the documentary Food, Inc. and it left me inspired in a surprising way

Celebrating the Minimum Wage Increase

by Melanie Weldon-Soiset 07-24-2009
People of faith can celebrate today as the federal minimum wage increases from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour.

What My Broken Collar Bone Taught Me About Our Broken Health-Care System

by Melanie Weldon-Soiset 07-16-2009
I was in a car wreck in 2002. After a drunk driver hit the car in which I was a passenger, I found myself with fractured ribs and a broken right clavicle.

The Death Penalty Denies the Gospel

by Melanie Weldon-Soiset 07-13-2009
He was taken before the authorities and subjected to abuse and beatings. No one arose to defend his case with the integrity it deserved.

Are Christians More Compassionate Towards Immigrants?

by Melanie Weldon-Soiset 06-19-2009
I am heartened by a new analysis of data from a 2006 Pew Research Center poll, which indicates that people who go to c