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Melissa Douaire is an ordained United Church of Christ Minister who founded Whole Person Conversations, a company with a mission to help move us from a culture of grief aversion to one of acknowledgment and compassion. Melissa is passionate about helping those who are grieving and supporting them through their journey.  Prior to founding her company, she served as the Associate Minister of Pastoral Care at First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn in Chicago. Melissa earned her Master’s Degree in divinity from the Chicago Theological Seminary. She also has an M.A. in Education from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in Education from DePauw University.


  • What are the volunteer opportunities for young people interested in ministry (4:28)
  • Why sympathy and listening are essential soft skills and studying is an essential hard skill (5:58) 
  • Why an undergraduate degree in religion isn’t necessary (8:20)
  • How testing your faith and healthy doubt can be a useful exercise (11:36) 
  • Why being a grief counselor has been both rewarding and challenging (15:28) 
  • What to look out for in a job interview (17:31) 
  • Why to watch the movie: The Way (2010) to learn more about this profession (17:58)
  • Why reverends get so much privilege and adoration (19:46) 
  • If you want to learn more about what Melissa did as an ordained UCC minister and how she built her career check out T4C episode #817

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