PASTOR DAN WENDELL'S JOURNEY THROUGH SEMINARY
In my case, the saying is true that “God does not call the equipped, but He equips the called.” I entered into ministry with some relevant international experience, but no formal theological education. While I had learned some important lessons serving in ministry since 2008, I was very much aware that pastors will be judged with greater strictness (James 3:1). As such, I wanted to be confident that my teaching and ministry was built on the solid rock of Christian orthodoxy and that it flowed from a right understanding of God’s purposes. As this conviction took root, Pastor Jerry guided me to Talbot Seminary. I began my coursework for an MA in Theology in the summer of 2013, taking a class or two every semester. With lots of grace from my wife and three kids, I sought to balance my studies with family, full-time ministry and a lengthy commute.
In many ways, the journey through seminary became a vehicle for my discipleship as I focused on learning, not with the aim of performing for a grade, but to be formed by the topics I was studying. The longer academic journey meant that I had time to focus on each subject matter, from theology to spiritual formation and from church history to contemporary issues among others. Theology encouraged me to grapple with the mystery of God’s threefold nature and his plan for humanity. Spiritual formation topics helped me to differentiate between my own selfish ambition and my aspiration to God-honoring service. Church history revealed the deep and rich heritage that informs our faith and doctrine and contemporary studies affirmed how Christianity continues to speak into every issue we face today. The sum of the experience gave me an increased awe towards our holy God and a sense of confident joy over his perfect plan to reconcile, redeem and restore each of us into right relationship with Himself.
I walked in my graduation this past December. Certainly I enjoyed a sense of accomplishment, having completed my coursework and receiving the paper to prove it! More than accomplishment, however, was a sense of building anticipation for what God has in the future. I am grateful to be here at Cornerstone and genuinely excited to serve a faithful church alongside a passionate staff that is committed to God’s Word. Soli Deo gloria!