JACKSON, Tenn. – Oct. 25, 2013 – The Union University School of Theology and Missions hosted its fall colloquium Oct. 8 to give students a perspective on their future careers in ministry and academia.
Ben Burleson, programming director for the Vocatio Center for Life Calling and Career, helped plan this event to answer the question, “What do I do with a degree in theology and missions?”
Ray Van Neste, professor of Greek and New Testament, as well as director of the Ryan Center for Biblical Studies, organized a panel of Union alumni who are using their degrees for different purposes in West Tennessee.
The guests included Justin Wainscott, pastor of First Baptist Church in Jackson, Tenn., John Jicka, a former missionary and pastor of First Baptist Church in Bolivar, Tenn., and Pepper Pratt, clinical psychologist and adjunct professor at Union.
Each of these men spoke highly of their educational experience under the leadership of the School of Theology and Missions faculty and staff.
“At Union I gained the ability to learn from a text,” Wainscott said. “The biblical languages cause you to slow down and read the text carefully.”
Jicka said he benefited from observing “a great laboratory of ministry.”
“Take advantage of the mentoring opportunities at Union,” Pratt said. “There are faculty here who will get to know you and invest in you.”
Each of the guests gave insight on the challenges and blessings that a life in ministry can bring. All of the men discussed their education and career paths and answered questions from students about seminary and other graduate work.
The School of Theology and Missions plans to host a similar event this spring.
By Stephen Hauss (’14)