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Student & Alum Jess LeCrone Fights Misinformation


In today’s digital age, the spread of misinformation is more rampant than ever, and combating it has become a pressing challenge for our communities. Meet Jess LeCrone, a Doctor of Ministry (DMin) student who is taking a stand against misinformation through her groundbreaking research and advocacy.

Jess’s journey into the DMin program at CTS was sparked by a desire to contribute to the body of research in a meaningful and practical way. Her passion for information literacy comes from her background in library and information science. “Before I was called into ministry, I worked in the University of Illinois library system for 12 years. My husband is a provisional elder in the United Methodist Church, so we both have experience in ministry. We have two daughters and three cats, and we are all having a great time exploring our new home in New England. We moved here recently to serve several congregations,” Jess shares.

Jess LeCrone headshotInitially hesitant about further formal education, she was inspired by the insights of DMin students and the supportive environment at CTS during her time as a seminary student here. Her passion for exploring the intersection of the church and information literacy led her to embark on a transformative academic journey.

About halfway through her Master of Divinity (MDiv) program at CTS, she found herself intrigued by the discussions in a class with DMin students. “I had not been interested in any further formal education, having already pursued two more master’s degrees than I thought I ever would,” she admits, “but the seed was planted, and I started to think of how I might be able to contribute to the body of research with my own project.”

Jess’s doctoral research focuses on how clergy use social media, specifically Facebook. “I am looking for places where clergy share misinformation or use problematic information sharing behaviors,” she explains. “My ultimate goal is to see how information literacy training can help clergy avoid sharing misinformation, confront it when they encounter it from others, and model good information sharing for their congregations.”

The impact of misinformation extends far beyond mere falsehoods; it erodes trust, undermines credibility, and poses significant challenges to community cohesion. As trusted figures within their congregations, clergy have a profound responsibility to uphold truth and integrity. By addressing misinformation head-on, Jess empowers clergy to fulfill their roles as stewards of accurate information and guardians of trust.

LeCrone’s commitment to combating misinformation has led her to take community action informed by her research in support of pastors. She aspires to share her findings with a wider audience and to offer education and training to church leaders on information literacy. Through her efforts, she seeks to instill a culture of critical thinking and discernment within religious communities, ensuring that they remain vigilant against the perils of misinformation.

“Clergy, and church leadership in general, are in a position of authority and trust,” Jess emphasizes. “If we damage that trust by getting small things wrong, like sharing false information, we reduce our capacity to be trusted with big things.”

Jess’s determination to combat misinformation is driven by her belief in the importance of truth and integrity. “I hope to be able to share my work with as many people as possible,” she states. “I would love to teach the skills I have learned through my own experiences to church leaders in some capacity.”

In a world inundated with misinformation, Jess LeCrone emerges as a beacon of hope, championing truth, integrity, and accountability. Through her research and advocacy, she exemplifies the values of Christian Theological Seminary, demonstrating a steadfast commitment to advancing scholarship, fostering community, and promoting healing and wholeness. As she continues her journey, Jess inspires us all to stand against misinformation and to uphold the principles of truth and justice in our communities.

To learn more about Jess’s work and stay updated on her research, visit her Facebook page: ThePastorsLeCrone.