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The Importance of Community while Serving and Learning

Brian Burd l NTS Class of 2014
Master of Divinity Degree Program

I think that most people come to seminary with ministry in mind. For some, the load of seminary academics adds to their already busy life of full-time ministry and family. For others, like myself, seminary is a high priority out of which ministry opportunities arise. In both of these situations (and the countless others in between), we all have pre-conceived ideas of what our ministry/study relationship will look like. But how reality plays out…that can be a different story.

In June of 2012, following my first year at NTS, I was given the opportunity to do a long-term pulpit supply in Sedalia, Missouri at the Sedalia Crossroads Community Church of the Nazarene. The District Superintendent meant for this period to be a “test drive” of sorts in which I was to feel out the congregation and discern whether or not this would be a good fit for my ministry. Long story short, God opened doors and last September, I made the move to Sedalia, 90 minutes east of NTS, where I serve as pastor of this small restart church.

If someone would have told me prior to my move to Kansas City that I would accept a ministry opportunity 90 minutes from NTS—I would have laughed. I came to NTS for a few reasons: community formation, a change of scenery from Southern California, and to earn my M.Div. degree in order to meet the Navy’s academic requirement for chaplains. Becoming a senior pastor while going to seminary was not even on my radar; nonetheless, the formation during my first year at NTS, and the relationships I formed with fellow students in ministry contexts similar to the one I now find myself in, allowed me to say “yes” to God’s leading down this path.

Since moving to Sedalia, my time at NTS has become exponentially more valuable. I find myself looking forward to class each week in a new way, as it is a time to “tune my craft.” Not only am I given tools in classes, chapel, and social events, I am also surrounded and encouraged by a supportive community. Each week when I am in Kansas City, I talk about current situations in the church-positive and negative-and I receive immediate feedback. 

Before I began my journey at NTS, I would have assumed that being a full-time seminary student would prevent me from pastoring a church located more than an hour away from campus.  However, today, I am proud to tell everyone I know that it wouldn’t be possible to pastor a church so far away if it were not for the NTS community.

« Too Precious to Squander | Main | Living the Distance: Some Thoughts on NTS and the Geography of Pastoral Vocation »

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Reader Comments (7)

Very well described. I really appreciate your work. Well Done. I really appreciate the way you have thought about it. Really the way we look at the community must be made clean and correct. Well done.

02.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrent

The online education system is provide a chance to all those students who want to get a degree fast and easily to proves his/her self in a country as a qualified person and they want to get improvement in their study or knowledge. Students can easily avail their online lecturers and degree program and get a valued degree or certificate for their happy upcoming. In this case if students want more lectures or advance course they also avail other classes and lectures.

Service-learning provides relevant and meaningful service in the community. Community partners must see that the service provided by students meets the immediate needs of those they serve or the long-term goals of the organization. Faculty must see that the service provided by the students is relevant to course content. Meaningful service meets a need identified by the community as well as utilizes students in ways befitting their levels of knowledge and experience

08.4.2017 | Unregistered Commentercoursework

Online Universities are providing a great way to develop student’s future and their knowledge in very short time. Every student has to enroll in it after his/her college exam and grow at a high level with valuable study or degree programs. There many courses and well-educated teaching staff.

09.28.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTyson

Importance of learning centers performance a significant role in individual plus societal growth. This is an operational mechanism for enabling community development. I work with research and Assignment Writer community and I have to say that is the most knowledgeable gathering for me.

11.28.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin Griffiths

That said my libido is nearly gone. I have gained weight and there are days when it's extremely difficult for me to get up. But I'd take once a few months than the constant melancholy that gripped me before.

01.9.2018 | Unregistered Commenteroverthere

A very great article i like the way it is written. Thanks to the author. Best Search Engine Too

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