Lynden URC, Lynden, WA
Chris is originally from central California, where he taught Bible at the high-school level prior to attending WSC.
Why did you originally choose to attend WSC?
After I graduated from college I became a Bible teacher in the central California area. I was profoundly thankful for the opportunity to teach the Bible in a Christian school, but I always felt the weight of Peter’s warning in 2 Peter 3 that untaught and unstable people can twist the Scriptures, even to their own destruction! Needless to say, I knew that if I were to continue this path of instructing others in the Word of God, I needed the best theological education possible.
There were many seminaries to choose from throughout the US, but after visiting a friend who was attending WSC at the time and sitting in on many of the classes, I had no difficulty in my decision to attend WSC. The professors were godly men, thoroughly committed to providing the best possible Reformed theological education for men pursuing the pastoral ministry. I knew I would be challenged, and that the rigors of WSC’s theological curriculum would stretch me. After all, if I was planning to teach and preach the Word of God, I wanted nothing less. It is hard for me to express in words just how thankful I am for the opportunity to attend WSC. I cannot imagine having received a better theological education to prepare me for the pastoral ministry.
What were the most significant things that you learned/gained during your time at WSC?
My answer to this question is simple: WSC taught me how to read, understand, and exegete the Bible. I was equipped with the tools necessary for spending the rest of my life preaching God’s Word. WSC taught me to see God’s great plan of redemption unfold in history. In short, I learned how to see and preach Christ from all of Scripture.
What are your present endeavors and/or future plans?
Presently, I pastor the United Reformed Church of Lynden, Washington. I graduated from WSC in 2004 and shortly after received a call to pastor the LURC. I have never looked back! As for my future plans, I cannot say. God has blessed me to serve a wonderful congregation that loves the Word of God and Christ-centered preaching. What else can a pastor ask for?
How did your education at WSC prepare you for your present roles and responsibilities?
One of the great benefits of attending WSC is that the professors are ordained ministers of the gospel—in other words, they are pastors. The professors not only care deeply for the advancement of the truth but also consistently combine their approach with sincere Reformed piety. This helped me to understand what a pastor should be, and for such an example demonstrated, I am very grateful.
What is one of your favorite memories of your time at WSC?
Some of my greatest memories come from the relationships that I developed with my fellow classmates. We went through all the challenges and struggles of seminary life together, and in many respects, I learned more from my fellow classmates than I ever expected. Even though I don’t see many of them anymore, I am very thankful for the time I had to get to know them.
What advice would you give to prospective students considering graduate theological education?
You won’t be disappointed! Come to WSC! As for the current students, I will never forget Dr. Estelle approaching me after two weeks into my first year of classes and asking, "Well, Chris, how are things going?" I said something to the effect, I never knew how difficult this would be, and I can’t wait to be finished. He looked rather sad after I said this. It was a foolish statement. I just wanted to get through and get into a pulpit. Why was I in a rush?
I think I missed out on a lot because of this attitude. My advice to prospective and present students is never forget what a blessing it is to receive a theological education. Enjoy the time you have to learn Christ. It should not be a burden. The time goes fast; you will have enough challenges coming into pastoral ministry. Receive this for what it is: WSC is a sanctuary provided for you to learn the most precious truths that will forever benefit both yourself and those who will hear you.