Name some fun facts about you that not everyone knows.
- At one point I was on track to be an airline pilot, but I wasn’t very good at flying so I quit. You’re welcome.
- I still own and play a Nintendo GameCube
- I am semi-severely pigeon-toed (which means I walk like Tommy from Rugrats).
- I can play both the violin and the fiddle.
Why did you decide to come to divinity school?
Ecumenical nature of the school as well as its dual program of study with the School of Arts and Sciences in the Sustainability Degree.
What makes WFUSD a great fit for you?
I really enjoy how a lot of Wake Div’s focus is on vocational formation. I came into WFUSD not really sure what I wanted to do with my life. I’m not going to say I’m 100 percent on that question yet, but being here has really helped me form my own understanding of myself, especially in the realm of ecological theology. Also, there is free food.
Which professors have helped you grow in your discernment process?
Dr. Kevin Jung is a professor whom I try to take at least one course from every semester (except this semester—sorry, Dr. Jung!) I’ve found his philosophical ponderings and interest in various sciences to really align with some of my own. In addition, Dr. Walls and Rabbi Ettin have also gifted me a new appreciation for Hebrew Scriptures that has become central to my understanding of God.
Is there a particular class that’s left a lasting impression on you?
Fred Bahnson led a course titled “Tree of Life, River of Life,” which I kind of coupled with a travel course this past summer that took me to the Appalachian Mountains. These classes really helped me discover how much of my Christian identity is grounded in ecology and finally gave me a way to articulate that identity.
Any words of wisdom you’d like to leave for first years? Second years?
While I suggest having some kind of life plan, it’s okay to have no idea what you’re doing 😊
Lesley (my wife), myself, and our fur-child Samson, are planning on moving back to south-central Virginia and getting involved in the revitalization of that area (Danville, Martinsville, South Boston, etc.). I hope to go into chaplaincy or non-profit, and am on track to be ordained in the PC(USA) We’ll see what God has to say about congregational ministry—I’ve had life plans before, and we know how those typically go!
What will you miss most about WFUSD?
I’m sure this is probably true for most 3rd years – but I’m really going to miss all the friendships that I’ve found here at Wake Div. I mean, I’ll miss the environment that Wake has created where I can have conversations that I normally couldn’t have in the outside world. But, I really think that it’s the people here that help create that space. As Thomas Merton (my favorite Catholic aside from Kevin Garrity) said about friends in our lives: “They are inseparable from our own destiny, and, therefore, our love for them is especially holy: it is a manifestation of God in our lives.”
Favorite drink and the theologian you would like to share it with?
Earl Grey, hot—with Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise.