My name is Brett Anthony Baumgardner. I am in my second year of seminary at NTS.
I am from a small town in Kentucky. I graduated May 2014 with a bachelors in worship arts and communication studies from Trevecca Nazarene University. I come from a family who has faithfully attended the Church of the Nazarene since my birth. I first received my call to go into ministry as a young child. I do not recall my exact age at the time. I was not fully aware of what that meant for me, except that I loved God and His people.
As I grew older, I was always involved in church ministries and events. I went to Trevecca in 2010 with an undecided major. I believed education was necessary to further prepare for the future God was calling me to. I ended up changing my major seven times, while still graduating on time. Trevecca was a journey of discovery, challenge, and growth for me. During that time God led me to places I had never been. While a student there, I developed a program that specifically worked with counseling services and the religion department. This program had about 30 team members who provided a safe place and who were suicide-prevention trained. Once we developed the team and relationships the group quickly grew from meeting with 10 students to 100 students on a monthly basis. We walked with students who were addicted to drugs, and pornography; with students who were contemplating suicide; with students who had been sexually abused at an early age in life.
My call has been a learning curve and a long road of discernment. Throughout life I have had themes of starting a group, and reaching out to the marginalized. I am not 100 percent sure what this means, but I am open as the Lord leads. Whether it be church ministry, the nonprofit sector, a combination of the two, or something I haven’t thought of, I will follow.
I definitely do not have the answers, and am convinced that I am very much like Moses at the burning bush. I believe in the transformational life of Christ. I believe this because I have seen transformation—not only in my life, but also in the lives of others. Christian Education is important to my call and goal because it will constantly challenge me to grow in Christ likeness.
My first year of seminary really showed me what it means to be surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who love you, but who also keep you accountable. This gift will affect my goals and call by simply allowing me to continually be filled up with God and his people, so that I may provide the same for someone else.
Thank you for your willingness to invest in my life, and the lives of many others (through your endowed scholarship fund). I am undeserving of this gift, but it is by the grace of Christ, through you, that has told me that He will complete his good works.
Brett Anthony Baumgardner
Master of Divinity Degree Program