Rev. Carissa Surber

Executive Pastor

Rev. Carissa is passionate about worship and authentic engagement with scripture. From a life in the United Methodist Church and a heart for service with the broader community, she believes that all of life – from the sanctuary to the school, from the kitchen to the workplace – is an act of worship. She is interested in walking alongside a community of believers and exploring together what vibrant Christian living looks like in the 21st century.

Rev. Carissa is a full elder in the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church. Before coming to Severna Park in July 2016, Carissa was the pastor of Trinity UMC in Odenton, MD. While at Trinity, she led the congregation through a variety of new experiences, including intergenerational worship, missional partnerships, and a stewardship campaign grounded in a theology of abundance.

Carissa received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA, where she worked with foster families through Lehigh County Children and Youth Services. Before attending seminary, she spent one year serving in direct care at the Board of Child Care. She graduated with a Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in May 2015, and was ordained as an elder in full connection in May 2019. Carissa is married to Matthew Surber. They live at Crownsville with their son, Deacon, and their dog, Maisy. A lifelong lover of nature and the performing arts, Carissa enjoys singing, playing piano, hiking, dancing, and listening to podcasts.