Posts tagged: Vocation

What to Expect...

By Darrell Yoder on August 3, 2015

I'm excited to participate in this new Talking Points blog! I will be engaged in this conversation primarily as a practitioner, a pastor who spends a lot of time thinking about and engaged in the practical issues we face in the Church. My role at GRTS though—working with and mentoring future pastors; planning and coordinating our Talking Points conferences—offers me a unique glimpse at what the seminary…

Listening that Leads to Hope

By Sarah Enck on August 5, 2015

We all live in a broken world. Within our churches we interact with people who are living with depression, experiencing adultery, or have experienced intense trauma and abuse. The church is not immune to this brokenness and sin. Ministry leaders are often in roles that require a listening ear for their congregants.

Student Spotlight: SJ and Erick

By Kris Rolls on August 10, 2015

At GRTS, we seek to thrive as a learning community committed to excellence in academic rigor and faithfulness in devotion to Scripture. Students are an important facet of that culture, so from time to time on the Talking Points Blog we will spotlight students and their stories. We hope this will give testimony to the work God is doing in their lives and in our community as a whole.

These students…

The Summer Countdown

By Graham McKeague on August 12, 2015

As we get ready for a new semester, I am excited to think about the students who will be in class next month. They have hopes and dreams placed in their hearts by God himself, and He will use their journey in seminary to make those dreams a reality. As professors prayerfully develop courses, class readings, and lectures, these are moments to reflect on the wisdom of God and the importance of learning…

Connecting the Seminary and the Church

By Darrell Yoder on August 17, 2015

I was raised in the Church. I came to faith around 10 years old in a rural Mennonite church in Northern Indiana. Thirteen years later, when I decided to go to seminary, many people around me had no idea what a seminary was (none of our pastors had ever gone), and they wondered about the value of "going to school for so many years."

During seminary, then, I was both inspired and disillusioned. I was…

Thy Kingdom Come

By Darrell Yoder on August 26, 2015

Last week, my family joined ten others on a three-day camping trip to Silver Lake State Park on the west coast of Michigan's lower peninsula. It was our last hurrah before school starts, and we loved every minute of it. If you do the math, we had 22 adults and 31 children—53 people relaxing on the beach, swimming, laughing, riding bikes, telling stories and cooking incredible food over an open fire…

A Balancing Act

By Sarah Enck on September 2, 2015

When I began seminary three years ago, I thought I had a basic understanding of the changes I would experience by stepping into the M.A. in Counseling program. I was so excited to learn more about theology, Scripture and counseling, and I was eager to immerse myself into the graduate academic world. I knew I would grow as a Christian and a professional counselor.

The more I waded through concepts…

Jesus and Avocados

By Steven Lister on September 9, 2015

Most of my adult life, I've struggled with a tension. See, I love reading God's Word. I love going to worship services. But I also love naps. And football. And avocados. Is that okay? Is it okay that out of 52 Sundays of the year I take one of them to go on vacation with my family?

There have been times when I felt it wasn't. Growing up, my church never taught much about creation other than "denying…

Speaker Highlight: Dr. Cornelius Plantinga

By Darrell Yoder on September 14, 2015

We have a fantastic line up of speakers for Talking Points on Oct. 7. Each speaker will explore the topic of new creation theology from a different angle: biblically, theologically, historically and homiletically. To help with this last angle—the task of preaching new creation theology—we have invited Dr. Cornelius (Neal) Plantinga to give a new creation sermon during the conference.

Dr. Plantinga…

Step by Step: Applying for LLPC Licensure

By Ashley VanBemmelen on September 17, 2015

A question students often ask in their last year of the Counseling program is "How do I get licensed?" This post will walk you through the process of obtaining your Limited License Professional Counselor (LLPC) license in the state of Michigan step by step with a time frame (other states may have variations):

Two Months Before Graduation

Begin obtaining information on local counseling supervisors…

Beginning Again: A New School Year

By Graham McKeague on September 21, 2015

A couple of weeks ago we welcomed over 75 new students to GRTS for the start of the new school year. It is always a joy to see new students come to campus to begin their seminary studies. Months of hard work and preparation come together to make the new student orientation a successful day and ensure new students are ready to start classes.

At the start of a new school year it is exciting to see students…

Gospel Centered Scholarship: Talking Points Plenary Speaker, Dr. Douglas Moo

By Kris Rolls on September 23, 2015

Dr. Douglas Moo is an influential writer, authoring several books, commentaries and academic journal articles spanning multiple genres of New Testament literature. His primary areas of research include Pauline theology, creation theology, Galatians, Romans and Hebrews.

Dr. Moo has been a significant resource for me as I've studied the New Testament. He is thoughtful, charitable and typically brings…

Yo Cortaré el Pasto!

By Julián Guzmán on September 30, 2015

Yo nací y crecí en la Republica Dominicana y aprendí desde niño que pasaría la eternidad volando como los ángeles, adorando y cantando a Dios para siempre. La idea no me parecía muy atractiva (aunque es mejor que pasarme la eternidad en llamas), y los conceptos bíblicos como "nueva creación" y "cielo nuevo y tierra nueva" eran muy abstractos e intimidantes a la vez. Se me hacía muy difícil reconciliar…

I Will Mow the Lawn!

By Julián Guzmán on October 1, 2015

I was raised in the Dominican Republic and learned as a child that I would spend eternity flying around praising God forever. The idea wasn't very attractive (although better than spending eternity in flames), and biblical concepts like "new creation" and "new heaven and new earth" became abstract and scary. I found it difficult to reconcile the "heaven forever" and the "new earth" ideas. As a good…

Moo, Plantinga, Wittmer and more at Talking Points Conference

By Darrell Yoder on October 5, 2015

On Wednesday, we will hold our next Talking Points Conference on the topic "Thy Kingdom Come," a conversation about New Creation Theology. We pray for God's Kingdom to come "on earth" in the Lord's Prayer, and the New Testament refers often to "new creation" as central to the Gospel and the mission of Christ in the world. What "kingdom" and "new creation" are we talking about, and what difference does…

Getting Your Counseling Practice Off the Ground

By Ashley VanBemmelen on October 19, 2015

Where do I begin working when I graduate with the M.A. in Counseling?

This is the question I couldn’t get out of my head during my last year in the program. I knew I wanted to work with trauma, but I was nervous to start my own practice. What options were left?

I needed a site that would provide clients for me to see without much effort on my behalf. For this reason, I looked at agency work and small…

Thinking of Spring

By Graham McKeague on October 21, 2015

It's October and the heart of the fall season (my favorite time of year) but I am already looking forward to the spring. Each year, at the end of January and in the midst of the winter freeze, the spring semester begins at the seminary.

Looking ahead to the spring 2016 semester, there are many things to look forward to and anticipate at GRTS. Each January about 35-40 new students start their seminary…

Miss Talking Points? Get the recordings here

By Darrell Yoder on October 26, 2015

On Oct. 7, pastors and ministry leaders gathered at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary for the Fall 2015 Talking Points conference. The theme of the conference was "Thy Kingdom Come: An Exploration of New Creation Theology." A huge thanks to all who attended and helped make it an amazing day. If you missed it, you can download the recordings here.

Our next Talking Points will be a series in the spring…

Choosing a Career Path

By Tara Kram on October 28, 2015

Many graduates of GRTS's Master of Arts in Counseling program choose to pursue traditional counseling careers in agency or private practice settings. Although this is the most common career path, many choose other vocational avenues. We have alumni serving as human resources directors, professors, church ministry leaders and university student development staff. I also chose to go a non-traditional…

Why Do We Struggle With New Creation, and What Do We Do Now? (Part 1)

By Martin Spence on November 2, 2015

In my presentation at the Thy Kingdom Come Talking Points conference, I tried to show how the church has veered away from the idea of new creation throughout history. Some of these turns were made not as the result of an explicit discussion of the end times, but rather as the consequence of some other debate or pastoral concern. Each turn has created an accretion of ideas that make new creation a strange…

The Transformative Power of the Classroom

By Graham McKeague on November 4, 2015

Dr. Catherine Mueller-Bell has 30 years of counseling experience in both local and global contexts. She teaches across multiple areas of the counseling curriculum including classes on multicultural counseling, child and adolescent counseling, counseling women through the life cycle, career development and addictions counseling.

Why Do We Struggle With New Creation, and What Do We Do Now? (Part 2)

By Martin Spence on November 6, 2015

New creation is a strange concept for many Bible-believing Christians, in part because of historical twists and turns that have encouraged non-biblical ways of thinking. In my last post, I described two reasons why this has happened—biblical interpretation and pastoral care for those who suffer—and I gave some practical suggestions on how to move forward.

In this post, I want to offer two more reasons…

Connecting Old Testament Exegesis to Preaching (Book Review)

By Kris Rolls on December 2, 2015

When was the last time you heard (or preached) a sermon series based on Deuteronomy or 1 Chronicles or Hosea? Or any other difficult book from the Old Testament? My answer is "never." The New Testament is generally more accessible for modern audiences. It seems more straightforward about what to believe and how to live. By contrast, the Old Testament can be a strange, foreign and unfamiliar place.…

Questions Every Future Counselor Faces

By Ashley VanBemmelen on December 9, 2015

Everyone who considers counseling has to wrestle with at least one basic question, Could I really do this kind of work? Here are some questions you can ask yourself to get insight as to whether you would make a good counselor:

  • Are you passionate about helping hurting people find hope in a broken world?
  • Do you want to help individuals and families through difficult times?
  • Does your heart break…

Becoming the Client

By Sarah Enck on December 16, 2015

I'm not one for clichés, but I recently found this idea very convicting. As a student in the M.A. in Counseling program, I continuously advocate for anyone to seek counseling. I believe that anyone could use an unbiased person in their life to ask helpful questions and teach healthier habits. Why would anyone pass on an opportunity to grow?

Self-care is a counseling term that has been emphasized throughout…

The Gospel vs. Resolution

By Kris Rolls on December 30, 2015

New Years is an interesting holiday that is loaded with all sorts of meaning. Around this time a few years ago I listened to a sermon from popular Christian philosopher James K. A. Smith. He titled his sermon, "Giving Up on Resolution." I remember it well because it was such a stark critique of what I thought to be "harmless" New Year's resolutions. Why wouldn't I want to lose weight? Get a gym membership?…

What we say when we call people to serve

By Darrell Yoder on January 4, 2016

Not too long ago, I was talking to a friend who was feeling guilty after hearing his pastor speak about service. The pastor's appeal was a good one. As followers of Christ, we are called to look out for others in need and to be generous with our time and resources. The message was from the story of Peter raising Tabitha from the dead (Acts 9.36-41).

Part of the story is how Tabitha was known for "always…

I love the holidays, but now I'm in recovery mode.

By Tara Kram on January 6, 2016

Family is gone. The Christmas tree has returned to its box (no, I've never had a real one). WCSG is back to its regular family-friendly, non-Christmas tunes.  And I haven't seen the sun in a week. Yep, sounds like January in Michigan.

I don't know about you, but I'm in post-Christmas recovery mode. All the hype of the celebration has dissipated, and I'm left ho-humming around the house. What to do?…

Calling, Character and Competency: An Interview with Rev. Dr. Royce Evans

By Darrell Yoder on January 11, 2016

Over the last three years, I have had the privilege of working with and building a friendship with my colleague, the Rev. Dr. Royce Evans. Initially, I was impressed with the breadth of his ministry experience (and that's still true), but as I've gotten to know him and his heart for the Kingdom I've been even more inspired by his openness, humility and courage. I'm excited to say we've invited him…

Join the class, join the conversations and watch your relationship with Christ grow.

By Ashley VanBemmelen on January 13, 2016

The seminary is such a quiet space with students on break. I can walk out of my office and down the hall without being greeted by a friend or running into anyone really. Somedays the quiet is nice. I am able to zone in on work and get a lot done. I appreciate the extra opportunity to focus.

Most days, though, it just feels empty. GRTS is a seminary. It's a place where students come to learn more about…

Making Sense of God's Call Pt.1: Charismas

By Royce Evans on January 21, 2016

Recently, GRTS adopted the phrase "Following God's Call" in our recruiting emphasis and missional statements. I must admit that when I first saw this phrase in seminary materials and heard it in conversations with my colleagues, I thought it doesn't get much simpler than that. In retrospect, however, the simplicity of that statement belies what is often a much more critical and complex question, not…

M.A. in Counseling: A New Platform

By Sarah Enck on February 29, 2016

Damaris Garcia is one of eleven students in the first cohort of the new M.A. Counseling online program at Cornerstone University. She met the other members of her cohort for the first time on Jan. 7, the first day of their three- to four-year program together. The day started with an orientation in the morning and launched right into their first class that afternoon. The following two days were part…

What Does it Take to Make a Great Sermon?: GRTS to Host Midwest ETS Meeting

By Kris Rolls on March 2, 2016

It should go without saying on this blog—but I will say it anyway: The Bible is essential for the life, health, and sustenance of the Church; it is the very Word of God to his people. Studying the Bible and communicating it effectively, though, requires loving, careful and hard work. Christians should love words—both written and spoken—simply because we are keepers, doers, and lovers of the Word. The…

Embracing the Journey of Seminary

By Dani Lauer on March 16, 2016

"Life is a journey, not a destination." —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Journey. An act of traveling from one place to another. A long and often difficult process of personal change and development.

Destination. A place where someone or something is going or being sent.

What is it about us as humans that enjoys destinations? Think about it. We have all these milestones in our lives, and people often encourage…

Jesus as Our Purposeful Example

By Brittany Stichter on March 25, 2016

In this week's chapel, Pastor Joe Lane brought a message from Philippians 2:5-11, exploring "Jesus as our Purposeful Example." He describes how Jesus' purpose affected other areas of His life and how His example relates to us.

Jesus' purpose was more important than His pleasure, power, prominence, or pain. Ours is too. Our God-given purpose cannot be fulfilled if we are not becoming like Christ.

The Ultimate Final Exam: My First Interview

By Sarah Enck on April 20, 2016

I survived an interview for my first counseling job. After learning that my husband and I were being relocated to Indiana, I knew that I had to look for a new job. But where to start? I knew that part of the job-hunting process was having connections, but I felt lost when thinking about looking in a new town.

What Are We Doing Here?

By Jo Anna Kelly on May 11, 2016

As adults, it seems we often view higher education in a similar fashion—as a means of personal or professional fulfillment. Often we pursue higher degrees in order to fulfill specific personal or vocational goals. Those who elect to return to college are often making the decision to gain a promotion or because they feel that they have plateaued in their current position. When we no longer feel fulfilled…

Ministry Goes, Sees and Feels

By Brittany Stichter on October 7, 2016

This week in chapel, Pastor Joe Lane spoke to us from Luke 19:41 about ministry. He pointed out that we need to go to ministry, that we need to see ministry and that we need to feel ministry. Since Jesus approached Jerusalem, Pastor Lane challenged us to go to ministry. He challenged us to—the next time we are at our churches—stop and look around. Where are the real needs in our churches? Finally,…

Compassion Fatigue

By Sarah Enck on September 14, 2016

When I sat in Dr. Lehman's Ethics course during the first semester of my M.A. in Counseling program, I never imagined the gravity of compassion fatigue during my future career as a counselor. I was mildly self-aware at the time, enough to realize that my strength in empathy would be my greatest asset and my greatest enemy when working in this field. I understood that I would be able to make quick connections…

Thinking of Skipping College? Here are 6 Stats to Change Your Mind.

By James Link on January 10, 2017

So you're thinking about not going to college. It's understandable. More and more people are opting out of college because they think they can do better on their own. That they can build a rewarding and profitable career through non-traditional means. It worked for guys like Steve Jobs and Richard Branson, so it will surely work for them.

But there is one, massive problem with this line of thinking…

Doing Your Own Inner Work: The Value of Engaging in Your Own Therapy for Counselors and Ministers

By Sean Harrell on January 30, 2017

I have learned a great many things about helping others from books. I have learned many more from therapy. The helping professions are, to my mind, among the most sacred vocations one may be a part of. We are allowed to witness those experiences that are often kept from the world; to hear what for many has been unsayable, unutterable. We are invited into the most sensitive areas of others' lives, and…

11 Ways to Work Full Time and Study Full Time Simultaneously

By Mike Ward on March 10, 2017

Trying to work part-time while going to school full-time can be quite the challenge. You're trying to juggle classes, homework, work, your social life and the battle to stay sane.

Is it possible to work full-time and study full-time? Sounds crazy right? Like a recipe for complete, flaming burnout, followed by dropping out of school. Only crazy people would try to work and study full-time.

Introducing: Dr. Jenny Chien, Assistant Professor of Counseling

By Kris Rolls on April 5, 2017

Grand Rapids Theological Seminary is undergoing an exciting season of growth! This fall we are excited to be welcoming two new full-time counseling faculty to our learning community. Faculty make incredibly important contributions to the culture of our school as they instruct students, make academic policy decisions and continue to labor in their disciplines through research and writing. Over the last…

Where are they now: Janelle Brown

By Joe Stowell on June 6, 2017

Our world needs Christ-centered graduates. I'm reminded of that every day. So when I hear about our CU alumni influencing the world for Jesus Christ, I like to share their stories with others. Most recently, the President's Office reconnected with Janelle Brown, a business major and 2012 President's Award recipient. She answered a few questions about her life as a CU alumnus and her position serving…

If You Haven’t Picked a Major Yet, It’s Going to Be Okay

By Meredith Sweet on June 30, 2017

It feels like you've flipped through the academic catalog one hundred times. You've visited the website even more than that, but you still can't decide what you're interested in. The first day of classes is quickly approaching, and you have no idea what you want to do.

You love your college; after all, that's why you enrolled. And even if you don't know what you want to study yet, you don't have to…