In the beginning – My Seminary Journey

So, as part of this blog I’ll be chronicling my journey to and in seminary. So, to catch you up to speed we need to go back… way back…

I’d say it was in middle school (about 18 years ago) that I first felt a “call” to ministry. I remember sitting in a youth group meeting, listening to one of the pastors preach and I thought, “I think I’d like to do that when I grow up.” Now, I’m sure that isn’t a common thought amongst lots of 12 year olds… but, none the less, there was something there inside me, drawing me.

Well, between then and my sophomore year in college my life didn’t really follow a path that would lead one to become a pastor. I lived a life that was pretty self serving in those years. I still had a seed of faith in my heart… but being a pastor was certainly not in the forefront of my mind.

Then, through some very divine circumstances God, in his mercy and grace, captured my attentions and affections as a sophomore in college. One night, at a party, with a bud light in hand I said a quite prayer of total surrender to God that went something like, “God, if you’re real and the Bible is true, then you have a plan for me and I want to live it with every fiber of my being.”

It was shortly after this that the seed planted in my heart all those years earlier began to be watered and grow. I began to realize that there was little else I truly wanted to do in this life than be a pastor (take that in a very broad sense please… being a pastor has lots of forms, not just the one guy who talks on Sunday mornings… but I’m sure you know that.)

Anyway, I began to take steps in that direction by becoming really involved in a campus ministry based out of my local church. Several fast and strange years later I found myself as the campus minster for said church and campus ministry. As a young, twenty something, in full time vocation ministry I thought I knew everything… I soon realized I knew nothing. It was during this time that seminary first started to become interesting to me. I began to realize that I have a lot to learn and my local church might not have all the depth of training I might need to be and do all I felt called to be and do. So, for the first time, I began to look intently at seminary.

So, that is how it began. In upcoming posts I’ll explain how I started to look at seminaries and how I ended up being a virtual student and, eventually, we’ll catch up to present day and where I am now in the journey.

Anyone else know early in life that this is the direction you were going? When did you first sense a call to vocational ministry?

Written by
Ryan Burns

Ryan Burns is a past Marketing Manager at Faithlife and now works at Redemption Hill Church in Richmond, VA.

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Written by Ryan Burns
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