"All through high school I never considered myself a good writer," said Bible and Religion major Melissa Reginelli. "It was just something I enjoyed." In fact, she decided ministry was her calling at the young age of 13. It wasn’t until later, after leaving Bloomington, Ill., to attend AU, that she realized she was meant to write – and inspire.
After searching for months, filling out online applications and submitting writing samples, Reginelli signed a contributing freelance writing contract with Suite101.com in mid-October. "I feel so lucky to have landed a job like this, but I really made it happen for myself," said Reginelli. [Photo to left: Melissa Reginelli works on her articles for Suite101.com on her comfy couch. Because of her skills in writing and passion for ministry, Melissa is working as a freelance writer for Suite101.com. (Fifth Street Communications Photo/Emilee Hammond)]
Her contract states that she must write a minimum of 10 educational/academic articles every three months for the "Mind and Soul" category of Suite101. More specifically, her particular beat is Protestantism. "I’ve found a way to combine my passions by ministering to and inspiring people through my writing," said Reginelli. "And I have a lot of freedom to write about topics that interest me within my category." Her first three articles cover Christian universalism, feminist liberation on theology and New Monasticism.
Reginelli started experimenting with her writing two years ago. "I was standing in the young-adult section of [a bookstore] and couldn’t help but notice all the negative images and attitudes in teen books," she said. "So I started to write my own." And hers has a more impactful message with inspiring role models. "None of that flimsy, pointless reading," she adds.
"My writing is inspired by both classic and contemporary authors," she said. Some of those include Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronté, Nicholas Sparks, Rob Bell and J.K. Rowling. "At one point, I was reading one of J.K. Rowling’s books, and I stopped writing for a few days," said Reginelli. "I felt like no other writer stood a chance because she’s that good."
But Reginelli credits her success in landing a freelance writing job and finding her direction to two faculty members. "Dr. Marian Berky and Dr. Fredrick Shively mentored me in theology and advised me toward my dreams," said Reginelli.
Reginelli is also an active member of the social club Camarada, a barista at Mocha Joe’s, and was a resident assistant in Rice Hall last year. She frequently attends worship services at 10:07 and the MercyHouse in Anderson, Ind.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.