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A Different Kind of Ministry: A SWU Story

A Different Kind of Ministry: A SWU Story

A Different Kind of Ministry: A SWU Story

When it comes to selecting a master's program, Steven's path to SWU Online may be considered unconventional, but certainly Spirit-led.

by Steven Groves on September 25, 2019

In 2015, it became apparent that something was missing from my life. I had been promoted to the lead pastor role at the church where I was on staff. I had even completed all ordination requirements and on paper I had all of the position and  influence I could hope for. My wife and I were ready to start a family. We should have felt our happiest.

As a pastor, I would walk into the church sanctuary early on Monday mornings and with only the lights from the stained-glass window and no one else around I sat on the front pew and pray. On one such Monday, only a week after my ordination, I sat and I listened for the Lord to speak and I asked specifically for him to release me from the loneliness and strange sense of longing that I had felt for too long. This became one of those moments when you’re in the middle of prayer and you just stop. I began to cry uncontrollably. Having just been ordained, I felt that I was supposed to have arrived. I was supposed to have everything all figured out… I was in for a surprise!

In the quiet of that morning, God released me from my position and gave me a vision for the type of community that I had longed to be a part of. The ministry I had been called to was for all people, regardless of where they came from. I resigned from my position and sought further training in ministry through another local church. I completed an 18-month church residency. It was time to seek out leadership in the church again. As I started to search, I found many different positions in the church but similar to the feelings I had before, none of the openings quite answered the call I felt pressed on my life. Then I found an opening in residence life here at Southern Wesleyan. The job was a perfect fit for me. While not every school treats residence life like ministry, here it is our first priority. I quickly started to see how time and time again, everyone is welcome here at SWU and God is using this amazing school to transform lives; and in my work here, He is transforming me.

Everyone is welcome here at SWU, and God is using this amazing school to transform lives; and in my work here, He is transforming me.

When I got the chance to go back to school for my masters, I jumped at the opportunity. I am in the MSML program to broaden my ministry even further.  The family that you are welcomed into here at SWU is unlike any other. In res life, we actually have the opportunity to live on campus. My family is growing. We will have our second baby this fall! In this faithful community, we are constantly surrounded by amazing people that love us and help us to grow.


Tags: pastor, prayer, master, degree