First Mennonite New Bremen
A.A.S. Engineering Sciences
MAR Eastern Mennonite Seminary
Currently working as an Associate Conference Minister and District Minister in New York Mennonite Conference giving oversight to 5 congregations and two church plants.
Pastor of Watertown (NY) Mennonite Church 1998-2008
Moderator (New York Mennonite Conference) 2005-2009
District Minister (New York Mennonite Conference) 2009- Present
Associate Conference Minister (NYMC) 2011- Present
LEAD Advisor to Lakeview Mennonite Church (Franconia Mennonite Conference) 2012-Present
In 1998, I was in the midst of considering a teaching position for secondary science in a high school, a laboratory position in a pharmaceutical company, and a return to the business world, when my Conference Minister called to see if I’d ever considered a call to ministry. The stirring in my being had been there for years, and was simply how I understood my life. Through the interview process, the call crystalized. My church family affirmed the call and my family supported me. I became a pastor and led a church for ten years, with further ministry in which I am currently involved.
Ministry has been the best, most trying, difficult, and hope filled task I’ve ever encountered. I continue to realize that the shape of my call is subject to God’s continued formational work in my life, and as such, will continue to evolve as I grow older.
It is hard to overstate the significance of my education at EMS. The access to distance learning, the Lancaster campus, the Preaching Institute, and my time on the Harrisonburg campus have made it possible for me to receive the training that I’ve so much needed.
The various venues and formats were critical components in being able to learn while in a pastoral role. I did not have the luxury of getting my seminary training in one seamless period of time, but over the course of years.
I am forever grateful for the exceptional faculty and staff at EMS for the ways that they enhance the church of Jesus Christ. I am blessed to be part of that wonderful legacy.
I can’t name just one of them. I continue to go to many of them in my notes and textbooks through the years. Some of them were hard enough that I questioned if I could finish, but they were also the most satisfying (Interpreting the Biblical Text comes to mind).
Others were simply wonderfully interesting and provocative (Religious Imagination in Culture), while some opened me up to a larger world (Christian Tradition).
I also highly value the Bible and theology classes very much.
The curriculum of seminary is well rounded with value in everything I’ve done. In that sense, even if I didn’t always like them, I experienced joy with each class.
Advice for Prospective Students
Don’t hesitate. Talk to your congregation about it. Seek financial help. Set aside the time in your life. You will not experience one moment of regret (OK… when papers are due, it’s not always fun).
It will be one of the best things you will ever do.