Dear Church Family,

I’m writing to you all to share some recent and exciting developments in my life and ministry.  At the end of this month, I’ll begin a new and exciting journey as I pursue a doctoral degree through Fuller Theological Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry Program (DMin) in Spiritual Direction and Formation.  DMin programs are designed to enhance the gifts and skills of Pastors while they continue to serve in full time ministry.  This particular degree involves a three-year cohort which I will travel to and from to stay and study for a little over a week each year. This year’s cohort meets from September 30 through October 7th.  After the three years of cohort gatherings I will then have an additional one to two years to complete my final project.  All other study will be done right here in Durango and actually incorporated into my current ministry as Pastor of First Presbyterian Church.

For some time now I’ve been interested in pursuing a doctorate and more recently interested in becoming a Spiritual Director.  I have been yearning for a new academic challenge in ministry that a DMin would provide.  Spiritual Direction, if you’re unfamiliar, is the practice of being with people, usually one to one or in a small group, as they attempt to deepen their relationship with God, or to learn and grow in their personal spiritual journey. Fuller offers a path to both! I’m so excited for this because I want any academic pursuit of mine to be in direct service of the church, and I have been feeling especially called to work with men in their 20’s-40’s in our community who are struggling with spiritual formation, and many who just struggle with all things spiritual.

In this new venture I’d covet your prayers as this is sure to bring extra and unanticipated challenges.  I’d ask especially prayer for my own personal growth as a pastor during this season, and for there to be ample opportunity to practically apply what I’ll be learning.  Prayers for our family would be appreciated too as this will certainly add to an already busy schedule.  Please also feel free to reach out to me to talk more about the program and my experiences.  I’d love to have that conversation with you.  If you’d like to further support this endeavor please contact me by email and I can speak with you about additional needs.

For this year’s cohort meeting I’ll be at the Mary and Jospeh Retreat Center in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.  I’m excited to meet my cohort, our instructors and to get started on this journey. On Sundays October 3rd and 10th you’ll be hearing from the Rev. Bill Postler as he shares from his experiences of diving deep into John’s gospel. Thanks to you all for all your love and support.  It means more than you know!

Grace and Peace,