Daniel L. Smith 2003
Assistant Professor of New Testament at Saint Louis University
I graduated from Gordon with a double major in History and Spanish, but a Greek class with Prof. Ted Hildebrandt helped to guide my future course. With Prof. Hevelone-Harper's encouragement, I pursued an M.A. in Early Christian Studies at the University of Notre Dame. As much as I enjoyed studying the early Church, I realized that I could not fully make sense of patristic literature without a better comprehension of the Scriptures that permeate those writings. I continued on to do a Ph.D. in Theology (Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity) at Notre Dame, and I focused my studies on the New Testament. I am delighted now to have the opportunity to share what I have learned (and am learning!) with students here at SLU. I love teaching, and I hope to invite future students into a deeper understanding of the New Testament writings in their cultural, linguistic, historical, and social contexts. After all, as Prof. Hildebrandt taught me, "Context determines meaning." And as many of my Gordon professors demonstrated, the vocation of teaching is a wonderfully challenging and richly rewarding way of living ad majorem Dei gloriam.
Rebecca Jones 2007
Attending Law School, University of Washington
After graduating from Gordon, I traveled to Chile to solidify my Spanish and continue research that I began while studying abroad. Upon returning to the States, I worked at a non-profit which gives grants to low-income women for health care and education, while getting ready for law school. Currently, I am in my second year of law school at the University of Washington and hope to practice either immigration or employment law. The Biblical and Theological Studies program at Gordon prepared me for law school in ways that I never expected. I have found that the analysis used in Biblical exegesis is very similar to that used in breaking down legal decisions. My experience at Gordon has definitely made me a better law student and I am certain it will make me a better practitioner as well.
Phil and Anneliese (Griffin) Bjork 2006
Pioneers International, Fiji
We were married in 2007. For the past five years, Anneliese has been teaching preschool, and recently finished her M.Ed. in Early Childhood from Gordon. Phil has been working with adults with developmental and psychiatric disabilities, both in his work and at the church. Three years ago, God opened a door for them to begin an evening service at North Shore Community Baptist Church, with the vision of it being a place that is accessible to people with and without disabilities. It's been wonderful seeing this population knit into the body of Christ.
We are currently pursuing an opportunity to serve in Fiji with Pioneers International, among the East Indian population living there. We hope to help the team there begin a vocational training center for marginalized people, such as people with disabilities, high school drop-outs, widows, and single mothers. We also hope to be involved in Fiji Equip, a student discipleship program where college students who have a heart for church planting and community development may come and grow in their faith and knowledge of the Lord and his word, while getting hands-on cross-cultural experience.
Steve Armandt 2009
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
My time at Gordon prepared me to respect the Word in its full range of life-transforming capabilities—heart, soul, mind and strength. After graduating, I started work at Plumstead Christian School (Plumsteadville, PA) as Spiritual Life Coordinator and Bible Teacher. Eventually I became Dean of Students and the Bible Department Chair, which is a testament to the immediate real world preparation Gordon develops its students for. Currently, I am enrolled in the M.Div. program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with an eye towards developing the Christian education scene in New England.
This spring I'll be helping out at Boston Trinity Academy in Boston. During the summer I'll travel to India as part of Gordon-Conwell's Overseas Missions Practicum in order to visit Christian schools and theological training centers there. Gordon's global perspective definitely contributed to my desire to serve God in those activities.
Jonathan Crawford 2009
I began a 4-year M.Div. program at Concordia Seminary in the Fall of 2009. I will be spending these first two years here at the seminary in St. Louis. The third year is a vicarage year, where I will be sent out into a parish get practical experience under the direction of a pastor. For the fourth year, I will return to the classroom with the experiences gained during vicarage. My goal is to be called and ordained as a Lutheran pastor. There are about 300 men on campus and a few deaconess students at Concordia. It’s been great to be able to form solid relationships with some of the guys who are my brothers in Christ and will one day be my brothers in the ministry. I cherish my years at Gordon College. Gordon gave me a solid foundation for seminary, especially in the biblical languages, but also overall with a great Christian liberal arts education.
Amy Gentile 2008
Teaching at Private Christian School in Nashua, NH
Since Gordon, I've been teaching at a small, private Christian school in Nashua, NH. Even though I'm teaching Math, I still use so many of the things I've learned in Bible classes in my conversations and interactions with the students. My Bible classes deepened my faith and taught me the importance of things—like the Resurrection and the Kingdom of God—that I had never really heard a lot about in church. I'm glad that I get to share these things with my students. I challenge them to think deeply about their faith, and that there's always more to learn. Most of all, my professors at Gordon showed me how to seek after God; that having a passion for studying His Word and His Church doesn't have to be divorced from a deep personal relationship with Christ. I aspire to show my students the same things, to connect with them on a personal level, and show them what the faith looks like fleshed out, as well as talking about it.
Paul Gant 2004
Associate Pastor, Kennebunk, ME
In the fall 2007, while finishing a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, I moved to Portland, ME to go on staff as an Assistant Pastor. Currently I am serving as an Associate Pastor in Kennebunk, ME. I am extremely grateful for the significant ways that my Gordon education continues to shape my philosophy of ministry in the church. Gordon College played a pivotal role in preparing me as I continue to study, teach, serve, and equip the church. However, it was not only the education that has deeply shaped me but also the faculty, with whom I still remain in contact. The faculty in the Bible department is remarkable at demonstrating one of the great missions of Gordon College, “freedom within a framework of faith.”
Jodie Birdwell 1999
Lawyer, Insurance Coverage Litigation
Jodie graduated cum laude from American University's Washington College of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy and the Law. She then held judicial clerkships at both the trial and appellate levels in Washington, DC. After her clerkships, she joined a national law firm, specializing in advising and representing policyholders in insurance coverage litigation. She has represented the FDIC, as conservator, in mortgage insurance litigation, and is experienced in the litigation and settlement of insurance coverage matters for policyholders facing directors and officers liability, managed-care and other health-related liabilities, and liabilities and losses incurred as the result of property damage.
Photo: Jodie is fifth from left and two over from Chief Justice John Roberts. Click on photo for full image.
Julie DeJager Glavic 2007
Pursuing M.A. in Theology, Seattle Pacific University
Since graduating from Gordon, I’ve moved to Seattle to pursue a M.A. in theology at Seattle Pacific University. I also work as the University’s program coordinator for a physics research project focused on discovering new approaches within science education. In addition to those commitments, I serve Paradigm, my faith community, as teaching coordinator. My experience at Gordon laid a solid foundation for the theological research I am now pursuing, giving me the tools to begin the historical and exegetical work necessary for my current endeavors. Gordon’s faculty enlivened theological studies for me through their passion for the scriptural text and the Church. I was encouraged and supported in my own research interests and theological development, without bias according to my gender. This underpinning of encouragement and support strengthens me even now as I work in the Church and the academy.
Jared Watson 2006
Pursuing M.A. in Philosophy
Though I began my time at Gordon expecting to pursue a different major, after attending my New and Old Testament classes, I made the easy decision to switch to Biblical Studies. The classes are rigorous and never dull with each faculty member having their own unique and effective teaching style. The Biblical Studies professors challenged me to be a better and more independent thinker, while at the same time were always available to answer any questions I might have, or to provide more guided independent study if I was interested. Though I went on to pursue a MA in Philosophy, a field outside of my major at Gordon, it was the foundational learning tools, knowledge, and habits of study developed as a Biblical Studies major that gave me a diversity of choices as to my future educational goals.
Wes Roberts 2005
Worship Pastor in Charleston, SC
After I graduated, I served as a Youth Director for a church in Connecticut for three years. At the end of my time there I felt called to focus more on leading worship music, so I took a job as the Worship Pastor at a church in Charleston, SC. As a Worship Pastor I use the tools I learned as a Biblical Studies major to grow in my understanding and relationship with God, as each Sunday I engage our congregation in music, prayer, and communion, and manage dozens of volunteers, counsel youth and adults, and communicate vision to others in the ministry. Above all, Gordon taught me to be a man of character and a great part of that is ministry to my family. I have enjoyed a wonderful marriage over the last four years, as well as having a beautiful 18-month old daughter. As I look to the future I can only say for certain that I want to continue to be in full-time ministry in the church, develop leaders in ministry, and continuing to follow God's path for our family's life.
Shane Ross 2003
Involved in Local Church
Though I chose not to go directly into Biblical Studies, my degree work has greatly assisted me in the positions of Christian Education Director at First Baptist Church in Danvers, MA and Chair of the Missions Committee at South Coast Community Church in Scarborough, ME. The variety of a liberal arts education has also allowed me to seek management positions in business. The opportunity that Gordon provided to form relationships with fellow Christians from all over the country and the globe has proved invaluable in recent months, as has the important lesson learned at Gordon to trust and keep faith in God in both easy and difficult times. This past spring our then 18-month-old was diagnosed with developmental hip displaysia, the treatment of which had the potential for open surgery and up to six months in a body cast; my wife, Joely, and I were brought to our knees before God, though God planned to use this situation, and my daughter, to teach me the true meanings of faith and love. It has been beyond amazing to be a first hand witness as, one by one, God has answered the faithful prayers of hundreds, including those many connections from Gordon. At each checkpoint along the way my daughter has had the best prognosis possible, sometimes better than was expected, and, through it all, Madison has held fast to that spark of joy that God has placed within her (2 Corinthians 4:15-18).
Lauren Asperschlager 2002
Teacher and Musician in Maine Church
After graduating from Gordon College, I continued my academic studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary where I received an M.A. in Old Testament, as well as in Jerusalem, Israel where I received an M.A. in Religious Studies from the Rothberg International School of Hebrew University. Since returning home to Maine in 2007, I have been participating in the life of my church as a musician and adult Sunday School teacher, as well as supporting my husband in his work as pastor of our church. I am the administrative assistant for the Cumberland Baptist Institute for Ministry, an educational program sponsored by the American Baptist Churches of Maine which provides courses for pastors and lay people in a variety of subjects, including biblical studies, church history, theology, and pastoral care. The instruction and encouragement that I received at Gordon College has enabled me to study the Bible carefully and intelligently, to interact with and respect Christian denominations and other faith groups that I may not always agree with, and to prioritize my relationship with the Lord over knowing all the "right" answers to every question.
Nate VanYperen 2002
Graduate Student at Princeton Theological Seminary
After graduating from Gordon College, I worked as an AmeriCorps member, coordinating conservation outreach at the Appalachian Mountain Club in Pinkham Notch, NH, and then taught Bible and coached middle school sports for a private high school before returning to academics. I landed at Princeton Theological Seminary for the Master of Divinity degree, then the Master of Theology degree, and now the Doctor of Philosophy in Religion and Society. Upon completion of the Ph.D., I hope to teach at the undergraduate and/or graduate level. As I reflect back on my undergraduate days, I am confident that Gordon prepared me well for graduate work. I found the department to be a place that encouraged students to find their own voices and pursue questions that mattered to them. I remember fondly how faculty members made themselves available to discuss ideas related to a class or the broad vocational questions related to "what comes next".
Joshua T. Johnson 1998
Teaching at Nazarene Theological Seminary
Joshua is currently teaching Introductory and Intermediate Hebrew at Nazarene Theological Seminary (NTS) in Kansas City, MO. Joshua was a full-time associate minister in the United Methodist Church from 2000–2004, began his MDIV at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and completed the program at NTS, graduating summa cum laude in the spring of 2009. Joshua was a recipient of the Zondervan Biblical Languages Award in Biblical Hebrew in 2006, has been an adjunct instructor at NTS in Biblical Hebrew since the fall of 2006, has had two different associate positions in the Church of the Nazarene (2004-05 & 2007), was selected first in NTS’s Corlett Senior Sermon competition in 2009, and was the recipient of NTS’s presidential academic achievement award. On a more personal note, Joshua has been married to Jennifer (Seeley) Johnson (also of Gordon’s class of 1998) for the past 11 years, is a six-year survivor of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, is a licensed minister in the Church of the Nazarene, is a board member and Adult Sunday School teacher at Trinity Church of the Nazarene in Independence, MO, and is presently praying for the Lord’s guidance in his next ministerial steps, considering both Ph.D. work and senior pastor opportunities.
Jessica Rexroth 1998
Missionary with Youth for Christ
Pursuing Masters in Counseling, Denver Seminary
I am currently pursuing my Masters in Counseling at Denver Seminary. Prior to moving to Denver, I served overseas through Youth for Christ as a missionary to the teenage children of diplomats, missionaries, military personnel, and other expatriates. My experience at Gordon prepared me for serving in ministry with spiritual passion, grounded in Biblical truth. I look forward to God’s continuing to use my education, experiences, and passions to make a global difference in the lives of international youth.