Meet Our New Site Director - Rev. Melissa Spence

We are so excited for the internship to be in a new place - in San Diego, partnering with some those who are already deeply engaged in God’s mission + ministry along the border. Rev. Melissa Spence will be our site director, leading our interns there in San Diego. We’d love for you to know a little bit more about her.

So here you go…


Melissa serves as the Pastor of Justice and Compassion at First United Methodist Church of San Diego. She oversees all of the local and global mission ministries and all of the congregational care ministries. She discerned a calling to a ministry of compassion when she became a Stephen Minister during her sophomore year in college, but it was many years later that she felt called to ordained ministry as a Deacon.  

As a child of the Air Force and a wife of the Navy, she has lived and traveled all over the world, experiencing many different cultures and religions.  She and her husband Dennis have two daughters, Mackenzie (19) and Kaitlyn (17), two dogs, two cats, and two chickens (they're thinking of building an ark but it rarely rains in San Diego).  She's lived in San Diego for a little over 10 years, but considers Austin, TX home and will eventually move back when Dennis retires from the Navy.  

Melissa received a BA in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Divinity from Claremont School of Theology, and a Master of Social Work from San Diego State University.  

In her free time she loves to read, bake, and spend time outdoors.  She's also an avid traveler and loves exploring new places.