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 are training to be the next generation's counselors, pastors, preachers and teachers. Please join with us in celebrating them and praying for them!

SJ Wheelock, Master of Divinity, 4th year

Female graduate student smiling while posing for a photoWhat is your current degree program and year at GRTS?
I am in my 4th year of my Master of Divinity.

What are your future vocational goals, or aspirations?
I want to teach both inside and outside of the church. I have already worked in higher education and camp ministry, and I have interned at churches. My goal is to continue serving God in a position where I can both study God's word and disciple believers.

How has seminary helped you prepare for those goals?
Seminary has not only given me more tools on how to study the Bible and theology, but it has also given me practical ministry advice and helped me learn how to better engage with real-life case studies.

How have your studies at GRTS impacted you most?
My professors at GRTS have exemplified an intellectual humility and attitude of grace that I hope to emulate.

Erick Solomon, Master of Divinity, 2nd year

Young couple posing for a photoWhat is your current degree program and year at GRTS?
I am currently pursuing a Master of Divinity in Pastoral Studies, and I am in my second year at GRTS.

What are your future vocational goals, or aspirations?
After my freshman year of college at Taylor University, the Lord placed a burden on my heart to teach and preach and lead His people. He further refined that burden by the end of my college career into a passion for urban ministry. I hope to one day serve a bilingual congregation in an urban context as a teaching pastor.

How has seminary helped you prepare for those goals?
After one year of seminary, I have been challenged to consider not only the way I read the Scriptures, but the way I relate to God. As my professors have engaged me academically, they also engaged me emotionally and spiritually in ways that I believe have already made me a better servant leader for whatever future congregation I lead. The trap of seminary is to focus solely on academic engagement, just to get through it all. However, my time so far at GRTS has really pushed me to engage my studies and my life as a Christian in spiritually and emotionally healthy ways.

How have your studies at GRTS impacted you most?
My studies at GRTS have impacted me most by showing me where I was lacking. Thankfully, we did not stop there. My professors and classmates have shown me how the body of Christ, present in an environment like GRTS, can come together to learn from various parts in order to strengthen the whole. The environment at GRTS has not been one of competition, but partnership, and for that I am so grateful.

Conclusion

We are excited to partner with students like Erick and SJ in order to help them discern their gifts and confirm God's ministerial call on their lives.

After reading these student profiles, what excites you about what God is doing in your own life? What are the ways He's calling you to be missional in your own vocation?

Categories: Interviews, Vocation