My journey in education and ministry has taken some surprising turns since completing my time in Religious studies at Campbell in December 2006. I did an M.Div at Duke Divinity School before completing my PhD in theological studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago. Somehow, after all of that, my wife, Sharon, and I, found ourselves planting Bright City Church in Durham, NC, in 2018.
At the same time, I was working on publishing my first book, Seeing by the Light: Illumination in Augustine’s and Barth’s Readings of John with IVP Academic (a project that began during my time under Donald Penny at Campbell). The academic work and the pastoral work at times felt an awkward combination, especially since neither of us ever saw ourselves planting a church. And yet, as we looked back, it felt like this is where God was always leading. The unique intentionality at Campbell to combine academic excellence with ministry application prepared me well for pastoring in an area of our country with one of the highest ratios of PhDs per capita.
My hope in all of this is to be a part of reclaiming the credibility of the church in our world. I believe, in part, this will be accomplished by our thoughtful, non-anxious presence in the world, witnessing to the greater narrative of what God is doing in the world and how we get to be a part of it. In this way, we give a foretaste of the Bright City to come, the city that needs no sun because God gives it light.