Tell us about yourself/your family.
I grew up in Maryland as part of Bel Air Church of the Nazarene. I went to Eastern Nazarene College. I married Abby Spitler in 2014, before my last year of school. I graduated from college and we then moved to Kansas City in 2015 to attend NTS. For the first two years in Kansas City, I worked for the Nazarene Foundation and Abby worked for Heirloom Bakery and Hearth, a cafe just down the road from NTS. Abby now works for the Kansas City Rescue Mission’s women’s center and I am on staff at Kansas City First Church of the Nazarene as the young adult pastor.
How did you sense a call to vocational ministry?
I felt that God was calling me to ministry as a teenager. My church affirmed my call and gave me opportunity to serve. Service consistently affirmed and further shaped my calling.
Where have you served throughout your ministry? Where do you currently serve?
My teen opportunities to serve with my church were primarily in international missions and some in youth ministry. I have served as young adult pastor at Kansas City First Church of the Nazarene since the fall of 2016.
Describe what makes your current assignment unique. What do you love about it?
The peculiar thing about my current assignment is the particular people and church. I get to love and serve a lot of great young adults learning to follow Christ as adults. Our church has some rich denominational history, unique commitment to our denominational doctrine and polity, and an exceptional theological resource. But, it’s a group of Christians like any other church – in all the simplicity and glory that entails. I love getting to walk with the broader church in welcoming our young adults into our life together.
Are there ways in which your time at NTS especially helped prepare you for faithful and effective ministry?
Definitely. As I’ve said before, God has used this time to form me. NTS has helped guide me toward a sacramental ministry, which has included shaping me toward a patient simple ministry of love for people who are extraordinary in the midst of their ordinary. It has helped humble me from pedantic condescension or idealistic frustration that always so appeals to our pride and has turned me instead toward this kind of simple ministry of love.
Is there a professor and/or class at NTS that has been particularly impactful? How so?
I don’t have one favorite professor but Dr. Blevins has been consistently available and encouraging to me outside the classroom. Dr. Hardy’s Sacraments and Asceticism has probably been my favorite class. It challenged me to think deeply about very basic, practical aspects of life.
Interested in seminary studies? Explore your call at www.nts.edu/explore