Jesus said, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:21 NIV). This is true of the late Roberta Urwiller, who gave so much to help scores of women and men prepare for their calling at Nazarene Theological Seminary. On May 8, 2020, Roberta went home to be with her Lord after battling Covid-19 for three weeks. She was 85 years old.
Generous is certainly one term that can describe the level of Roberta’s yearly giving. The larger story is that Roberta’s fruitful practice of giving was supplied by rich spiritual nutrients such as faith, joy, love, holiness, faithfulness, wisdom, stewardship, service, hard work, and sacrifice. For Roberta, every dollar she gave was her testimony of faith in God’s provision, hope in the future, and love for God and others.
Last December, Nazarene Theological Seminary hosted a reception in Westminster, Colorado to thank Roberta for her support for students. Guests of honor were Ms. Urwiller, her sons Rick and Jeff Urwiller, with their families, NTS President Emeritus Dr. Eugene Stowe, and Dr. Stowe’s daughter, Gayla. Roberta’s son Steve Urwiller, a U.S. Navy Captain, was on active duty and was unable to attend. The reception was a sacred time for all, with the sharing of scriptures, family testimonies, and student stories of appreciation.
Through the years, many seminary students have written to thank Ms. Urwiller for her financial assistance through the Urwiller Grant. Roberta loved reading these thank you letters and took great interest in the ministries of the people she helped all over the world. She pored over students’ stories and pictures as she prayed for each person, excited to learn of their ministries and eager to envision how God might use them in helping others and transforming the world. One student’s sentiment is shared by so many: “Thank you so much for your generosity, which has been an answer to prayer for us. We truly believe that God has used you to prepare us for ministry and service to the Church.”
Roberta’s legacy continues through the lives of those in whom she has invested so much.
Regarding the heart and its treasure, the apostle Paul wrote, “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?” (1 Thess 2:19 NIV)
NTS is thankful for all who give, helping students answer God’s call to prepare to faithfully and effectively minister the gospel of Jesus Christ—a gospel of faith in God, hope in the future, and love for God and others.
Rev. Tim McPherson
Dean for Advancement