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This month we would like to introduce Jon Bushnell, a third-year student in the Master of Divinity program. When's he's not studying, he enjoys leading youth group, spending time with friends and being outdoors. He was married to his new wife, Kelli, in June and completed a summer internship in Sparta, MI at Trinity Christian Reformed Church.
So Jon, why did you choose to attend WSC?
Ultimately it is because of my dad’s encouragement that I am at Westminster Seminary California. He loves the White Horse Inn radio program and listens to all WSC’s Morning Devotions. He was sure this was the place I needed to be. During one family vacation to San Diego we ended up stopping by the WSC “just to check it out.” So there I was walking around the campus with my parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, uncles, and aunts - quite the experience!
Later when it came time to choose a seminary I flew out for a visit. It was the faculty’s confidence in scripture and their commitment to the Reformed confessions that made them stand out from the other seminaries I visited. Scripture was taken seriously as the Word of God for our lives and the confessions were not just historical documents part of our past, but they were seen as relevant for today as well. To top it off, I visited during February; WSC was a sunny paradise with palm trees compared to the rest of the country covered in ice and snow.
What is one of your favorite WSC experiences thus far?
My favorite experience in seminary has been the time spent with fellow students. Every Tuesday Rubio’s down the street has cheap tacos and so “Taco Tuesday” is something I always enjoying going to with my friends. We have potlucks together, which turn into wonderful evenings of talking, laughing and discussing. We watch “The Office” together on Thursday nights. We take trips down to San Diego to try out a sushi restaurant or a really good BBQ joint. During exam time there are trips to Starbucks. One trip I came back with 12 or more caffeinated beverages because everyone needed to keep on studying. The time spent just living life with my fellow students is my favorite seminary experience.
This past summer you were an intern at a church in Michigan. Would you share about your internship and its responsibilities?
This was actually my second summer interning under Rev. C. J. den Dulk at Trinity CRC in Sparta, Michigan. I can’t even begin to describe what a valuable experience it was. Even though I had interned there the summer before, this past summer was different because my new wife Kelli joined me. We helped out with a junior high school ministry called “Summer Blast.” Kelli took care of the music, and I organized games and devotions with the other leaders.
In addition I was able to preach almost every Sunday, as well as visit and speak at the Reformed Youth Services convention, attend meetings, and even participate in a funeral service. Pastor C. J. does a wonderful job of encouraging his interns to be his shadow. It was a wonderful opportunity to get a taste of what ministry will be like, while receiving confirmation that this is where God is leading me and growing to love a congregation of wonderful people.
Through your internship experiences, what do you appreciate about your education thus far at WSC?
The preaching! I had the opportunity to preach almost every Sunday this past summer. Preparing and preaching sermons can be extremely intimidating. But I had something to fall back on thanks to my classes at WSC. Each class that I have taken so far has its place in accomplishing the goal of preaching the gospel faithfully - from preparation behind a desk to delivery behind a pulpit; from looking at the text for the first time, to understanding it in its context, to seeing it in light of redemptive history, to clearly showing the gospel, to applying to our lives. I have had support and instruction at each step at my studies at WSC.
What do you plan to do after you graduate from WSC?
Lord willing, I hope to receive a call to pastoral ministry. Wherever the Lord leads I will follow and faithfully serve by using the gifts he has given me.