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.