Alex's wife Amy will be graduating from UCSD's medical school one week after his Westminster graduation!
This month we would like to introduce Alex Eppstein from Toledo, OH, a 2012 graduate from the Master of Divinity program. After graduation, he plans to move to Cincinnati, where he will begin the process of becoming licensed and ordained in preparation for pastoral ministry.
Why did you choose to attend WSC?
It was all very providential. I'd thought about coming here since my close friend in college recommended it, saying that it's where he'd go if he were to attend seminary. That stuck with me. Then, years later, I started dating Amy, and she decided to go to UCSD for medical school. I wanted to marry her, which meant moving to San Diego. And that put me in a position to attend Westminster.
What is one of your favorite WSC memories (humorous or serious)?
My favorite part of Westminster was Summer Greek. During those five weeks, there was a certain camaraderie amongst the students that hasn't been matched in the rest of my three years here. It was like two-a-days -- you end up bonding through the grind. The friends I made during Summer Greek are still some of my closest friends here.
What challenges have your experienced as a student here?
The biggest challenge is the workload. Every semester, I would receive my class syllabi, and every semester, I would wonder: how am I going to get all of this done? It's pretty difficult to finish reading assignments and papers, and to prepare for quizzes, midterms, and exams without feeling a huge amount of stress. A related challenge is balancing life. School's always threatening to crowd out other priorities. It's sometimes been difficult for me to talk to people or go out to have fun without feeling rushed because I know, in the back of my mind, that I could use the extra time for my studies. Thankfully, I've had a very understanding wife and church family supporting me through the process--and that includes calling me out when I'm spending too much time working on, or worrying about, school.
What have you appreciated most about your time here?
It's both the education I've received and the relationships I've formed. Three years ago, before I started, I couldn't have anticipated learning as much as I have. I'm definitely thankful for that. I'm significantly more confident speaking to certain topics, and even if I don't have answers, I'm more aware of where to go in order to find them. I've made a lot of meaningful relationships, as well. It's been a lot of fun going to In-N-Out after finishing exams, and it's even been fun commiserating with other students in the library when paper deadlines are approaching. I've enjoyed getting to know the professors, too, and talking with them about everything from men with long hair to BCS bowl matchups.
What would you say to prospective students considering attending WSC?
There are a lot of things I'd say. I think, first, I'd say don't be scared. I say that because I was pretty intimidated coming in; I wasn't sure I'd make it. But, basically, if you put the work in, seek help when you need it, and manage your time well, you'll graduate and learn a lot. I'd also say come here if you want to learn the languages. Really, I think this is what has set my seminary education apart. The fact that I can translate from Greek or Hebrew into English, and notice some things that I might not otherwise have noticed, is invaluable. It's made me a much more careful exegete, and a more helpful preacher.
What do you hope to do with your degree from WSC?
Hopefully, I'll be able to work in full-time pastoral ministry. I came to Westminster in order to gain a stronger biblical-theological foundation, particularly for the purposes of making me a stronger preacher. And that's still my goal. I want to preach the Gospel, and shepherd those whom God entrusts into my care.