MeLinda Morton is an ordained minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). She is a former Chaplain in the United States Air Force, most recently serving at the United States Air Force Academy.
MeLinda is a 13-year Air Force veteran. A distinguished graduate of ROTC, she entered the Air Force as a regularly commission operational officer, and was one of the first cadre of women to command Minuteman II, ICBMs. She also served as an Orbital Analyst, conducting launch and early orbit of Air Force space assets, such as the Global Positioning Satellite system. In addition, she served as executive officer to Base and Wing Commanders.
As a parish pastor, she served multiple Lutheran congregations of the Northern Texas, Northern Louisiana Synod of the ELCA. In 2001, she returned to the Air Force as a Reserve Chaplain, and in 2002 she was recalled to Active Duty and assigned to the United States Air Force Academy. While at the Academy, her work on behalf of survivors of sexual assault was honored with the 2003 Wakin Award for Excellence in Ethics.
In June of 2005, MeLinda resigned her commission in the Air Force, citing an inability of Air Force leadership to confront and correct a systemic and pervasive atmosphere of religious intolerance and unconstitutional institutional support of proselytizing by activist Conservative Christian Evangelicals.
She holds master degrees in Divinity, Philosophy and Theology. She obtained a J.D. and is currently pursuing additional graduate work at the University of Chicago and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.