Why did you choose to attend WSC?
After a few years of doing campus ministry right out of college, I began to realize that I needed more training. I had spent the last few years leading bible studies and found that what I most enjoyed was when the theology that I loved began to intersect the details of the student's lives. I would get glimpses of what this might look like but knew I didn't have a deep enough foundation to really do it well. I went to WSC to lay that foundation.
What particular truths or experiences that you gained from WSC do you find most important and valuable now?
One thing that really grew in me during my time at WSC was a commitment to and love for the church. As I began to think about counseling those influences have played a significant role in how I've set up my practice and my philosophy behind working alongside of pastors and elders as I counsel folks in their churches.
How did your education at WSC prepare you for your present responsibilities?
The two things that stick out to me the most are learning how to study Scripture well and building a solid theological foundation. I'm so thankful for the tools I was given through studying the languages and learning how to exegete passages. I believe I have a richer understanding of how to use Scripture wisely and see the effects of that in my counseling. I don't often think specifically about the theology that I learned in seminary but it is the groundwork for how I think about humanity, suffering, sin, and change. These are categories I think about every day. As I counsel people, the way I understand the role of the Holy Spirit and the nature of the work of Christ runs through everything I do with them. I think of it as the foundation for what I'm standing on but also as an anchor. As a counselor it's important to be creative in the ways you rivet truth to the details of people's lives. But in order to be creative you also need to have a strong understanding of the categories you're working in so you continue to be faithful to what you're trying to communicate. I believe this is what I got at WSC.
How did your training with CCEF (Christian Counseling and Education Foundation) complement your WSC education?
While WSC was building a theological framework for me, the CCEF coursework helped me to begin to think about the applications of those truths. Take a course like Doctrine of God, for example. The truth that God is unchangeable certainly means something in the midst of our suffering, but the actual application of that truth to someone in the middle of a crisis can be tricky. WSC taught me the depth and richness of the theology and CCEF began to teach me how to skillfully bring those truths to bear in the lives of those I counsel.
Do you have an unforgettable memory from your time at WSC?
Most of my unforgettable memories involve friendships I made while at WSC—great conversations over meals, the shared anguish of paper writing, theological discussion in the bookstore.
What advice would you give to prospective students considering seminary, especially those who want to go into counseling?
Two things come to mind. First, find a place where you can practice breaking down what you're learning into everyday language. Maybe work with a youth group and learn how to communicate what you learned in class that day in a way that's meaningful to their lives. Second, after you have a few courses under your belt, see if you can start counseling under the supervision of your pastor.