Gordon College is committed to preparing the people of God for the work of God. Many of our graduates serve in church positions, while others are working with para-church ministries. Some of our graduates work with missions agencies around the world and a few entrepreneurs have even started their own ministries. Many alumni find themselves in graduate school, furthering their studies for the service to which God has called them. Read on for more stories about where Christian Ministries grads go.
Christyn Herr Riehl '16
Asst. Direstor, Center for Career Development
St. David's, PA
In the Fall following graduation, I returned to Massachusetts as the Resident Director for Gordon’s Wilderness Immersion and Leadership Development (W.I.L.D.) Semester. I then accepted a job at Eastern University. Wherever God may lead me in the years to come, I am deeply grateful for the many ways in which Gordon shaped and prepared me to strive to serve the world as a thinking citizen of the Kingdom. During my time there, Gordon re-awakened my love for learning. It particularly opened my eyes to the immense beauty within scripture and theology and the extent to which intentional study enriches the global community of the Church. I was and continue to be inspired by the dedication my professors exhibited to continually bridge the false dichotomy between faith and life, never ceasing to exhort students toward an awareness of the vast scope of the Gospel and our responsibility to join in its mission.
Jean Lapitan '16
Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church
Right before graduation, I accepted a position as Youth Minister in Florida. I’m now working full-time, building a youth ministry from the ground up with a supportive, loving ministry team. From my first interview on, it was clear that my time at Gordon had prepared me well. Thanks to the many books I read, papers I wrote, and discussions I had with others from different backgrounds, I found myself with a stronger faith than ever before and an ability to clearly articulate informed, thoughtful opinions. I left Gordon full of ideas and excited to serve. Better still are the connections I made while at Gordon. Even after graduating, I have continuous, loving support from friends and professors to keep me grounded.
Shannon Burgoyne '15
Young Life Director
Nashoba Valley, MA
During my years at Gordon, I served as a volunteer leader for Young Life, a ministry that reaches out to local high school students who have little to no exposure to the Gospel. After graduating, I continued to volunteer and then was hired as a Young Life Staff Associate in that same town. It is a joy and privilege to see students come to know Jesus and dedicate their lives to Him. I am incredibly grateful that I was able to attend Gordon, as it was the place God really placed a call on my heart for youth ministry. I learned so much about God’s role for us as ministers of the Gospel and in the process further discovered God’s deep passion for us and His people.
Casey Beardslee '14
Worship Director, City Church
I graduated from Gordon College in December of 2014 with a bachelor's degree in Christian Ministries. Currently, I am the Worship Director for the Middletown campus at City Church in Connecticut.
I knew growing up that the Lord had given me a passion for music, but it wasn't until I was at Gordon and immersed in the loving community that I figured out I would lead worship for a living. The friends I developed over my journey always pushed me towards the plans that the Lord had for me and not my own. We would attend the various worship nights that Gordon students would put on and just worship together as a family. Fairly often, we would even make our own worship times in different places on campus. It seems my friends may have known I would be a worship leader even before I knew myself!
My professors were the most encouraging people I could have been surrounded with and they would constantly support me whenever I would change my direction. I so appreciated that because my journey was not smooth, but because of their love and support, I know I am where I need to be today.
I am so thankful to be serving the New England region and look forward to all the leaders that are being developed at Gordon that will serve in New England in the coming years!
Wes Buckley '13
Truro Anglican Church
After graduation, I moved to Virginia to begin full-time student ministry with about 400 teenagers. Gordon College fully prepared me to go into full-time ministry in many ways. I was taught and challenged to think theologically and practice ministry passionately both in the classroom and serving in ministries on campus and in the community. At Gordon I really discovered who I am spiritually. My faith grew significantly as I was immersed in theological conversations in classes, chapel, and among friends and mentors. I was challenged to see how my faith engages our culture and how to help young people see the relevance of Christianity in a post-modern culture.
Kyle Lincoln '13
Dane Street Church
Reflecting back on my time at Gordon I vividly remember friends, classes, and professors that made a difference in my life. It was hard work—college is—but it was well worth the effort and sacrifice. Gordon, and especially its Christian ministries department, is contagious. You walk away with a stronger sense of who you are and a deeper love for people. And here’s the best thing: I got a job right after graduation—and in my field, too!
Josh Porizky '13
Director of Student Ministries
New England Chapel
Right after graduation I got married, moved to Colorado, and became the youth minister at a great church. Five years later I returned to New England serving a church in Franklin, MA. Our students are energetic and passionate about growing into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. Our ministry is focused on embodying the incarnational ministry and lifestyle of Jesus by coming alongside the students and sharing our lives together as we seek to develop genuine disciples of Christ. Gordon is where I truly learned the meaning of unconditional love and how to build genuine relationships that were theologically rich and grounded in community. Gordon prepared me for real life ministry by challenging me to integrate classroom lessons into my real world life and ministry.
Mike Spatz '13
Director of Student Ministries
First Baptist Church
Upon graduating from Gordon College with a Christian ministries major, I immediately began serving with the student ministry at First Baptist Church of Metuchen, New Jersey. The education I received at Gordon proved invaluable as I plunged into the heart of relational ministry. The most notable aspect of the Christian ministries program is the professors' ability to teach from their own experiences in ministry and bring real life examples into the classroom. I am currently the Director of Student Ministries at First Baptist Church and look forward to many more years investing in the lives of these students.
JT Himmelstein ‘12
Pastor of Next Generation Ministries
South United Methodist Church
My professors invested in me from the start and helped me to acquire and practice the skill set provided throughout the program. They passed along many valuable life and ministry lessons, which I have carried over into my daily walk with Christ and my current ministry to Youth and Young Adults.
Brittany Whitegrove '12
Center for Student Missions
I completed my practicum senior year with the Center for Student Missions, which ended with the offer of a full-time position! My days are now spent working with group leaders preparing their teams for a week of serving alongside our year-round ministry partners. I also disciple our summer staff, frame the vision of the greater citywide ministry and supporting them as they are leading groups around the Philadelphia. My time at Gordon prepared me by shaping my idea of what ministry should look like, grounding me in the foundations of faith, rooting me in deep community and equipping me with the tools to serve with sincere compassion and openness.
Kerry Trunfio '12
Director of Youth Ministry
Our Savior Lutheran Church
Three days after graduating I accepted a position in youth ministry. A lot of my job is spent in a small diner meeting with kids one-on-one or in small groups encouraging them as they continue to journey on their road with Jesus. The Lord has been so faithful in this ministry, and I am so thankful that when I said yes to my first job in the real world I felt equipped to be a part of church leadership. It is because of the professors who mentored me and truly cared about what they were teaching that I feel prepared to be in ministry today.
Jessica Tchindebet '10
Global Partnerships Coordinator in University Ministries
and Assistant Director of First Year Experience
North Park University
As a student at Gordon College, I had the opportunity to travel and learn about the global church, cross-cultural ministry, camp ministry and student ministries. I now have the privilege of working in University Ministries at North Park University where I serve as the Global Partnerships Coordinator. In my role, I seek to develop mutually beneficial relationships with partner organizations across the globe and facilitate partnership trips over Winter Break, Spring Break and Summer Breaks for students to travel all over the world to learn from and serve alongside our partners. It is my prayer that students would develop a love for the global church and a passion for serving in cross-cultural and multicultural contexts and that they would be a blessing to our global partners through service, prayer and encouragement just as our partners continue to bless us through teaching, example and hospitality. I am very thankful for the ways that Gordon developed me as a person, prepared me for ministry and opened up my eyes to the church around the world.
Jared Cave '09
Director of Missionary Development
CCO Campus Ministry
Shortly after graduating I began serving in a residential program with at-risk teenagers. After spending three years in this social service position I felt called to serve in a position that provided greater opportunities for direct ministry with students. God led me into college ministry and answered my prayers in ways I never imagined. I have worked with CCO Campus Ministry in Pittsburgh and partnered with a Homeless Ministry. I am the Director of Missionary Development, responsible for creating a culture in our organization of care and growth for our staff. I engage college students by inviting them into our work and encouraging the same missionary spirit in them. My career path has not been a straight line since college, but because of my education at Gordon College I was prepared for each step in the path to what is now my true calling.
Nate Harrison '09
Director of Communication and Connection Groups
Trinity Evangelical Free Church
South Bend, IN
After serving youth and their families in the beach town of Pawleys Island, South Carolina for three years I am now in serving in the mid-west community of South Bend, Indiana where I am committed to community ministry and outreach. I absolutely love our ministry and the students I am blessed to spend time with every single day. Most days are spent connecting with people and helping people connect with one another. I love sharing in great conversations. It's awesome! Throughout my time in ministry I have been constantly reminded of and thankful for the education and training I received through my years at Gordon College.
Megan Lietz ‘09
Director, Race & Christian Comminity Initiative
Emmanual Gospel Center
During my time at Gordon I took part in an internship at Abundant Life Church, a predominantly black church in Cambridge, MA. Though I am from the country and had little experience in either urban ministry or black church tradition, the Lord knit me into this new community and I was invited to serve on staff. By working as the Church Administrator for five years, I came to understand the inner workings of an urban church and wrestle with issues related to race and culture. Now I serve as a program director for race relations at the Emmanuel Gospel Center, a nationally known ministry committed to strengthening Christian leaders to serve urban communities. My current work focuses on walking with white evangelicals to help them engage issues related to race more effectively. I am grateful to Gordon for providing me with a solid foundation for ministry that has helped me succeed in a variety of contexts ranging from ministering at a local congregation to leading social justice initiatives in the city.
Andrew Breton '08
Pastor of Staff Development
I am currently serving at Grace Chapel in Lexington, MA. I have had the privilege of working with the awesome, awkward, and beautiful beings known as middle schoolers for many years and recently became the pastor of staff development. Most of my job is spent in leadership development, vision casting, managing tensions, and solving problems. The classes I took at Gordon taught me how to think critically about ministry.These all require critical thinking and emotional intelligence skills. I found and sharpened those skills through my education at Gordon. My professors were mentors to me as I explored and confirmed my call to ministry. I can't say enough about their expertise and encouragement over the years.
Leah Knight '08
Pastor of High School Ministries
After graduating I took on an internship with the High School Ministry at Grace Chapel in Lexington, where I volunteered during my years as a student at Gordon. Since then I have been hired on staff and now serve as the Pastor of High School Ministries where I have the opportunity to implement our mission, vision, and values of our ministry to students, parents, and the rest of the church body of Grace Chapel. Gordon prepared me well for graduate school, and I completed a Master of Arts in Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. My time at Gordon taught me above all to value intellectual honesty, faithful reverence, and abounding compassion—and this has been the impetus not only for what I do but, most of all, the kind of person I strive to be.
Morgan Schmidt '07
Director of Children, Youth, & Family Ministries
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church
I am currently doing life with students and families in Seattle, WA. My ministry has been full of glory and brokenness as I collaborate with students and volunteers to initiate and build an authentic community of students. I can't imagine a better way to spend my life than being with students and encouraging them towards becoming the young women and men that God created them to be. Together we are becoming more aware of moments where heaven and earth meet, and are seeking to be partners with God in loving and restoring the world. I also completed my Masters of Divinity degree at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology in 2012. My time at Gordon was shaded beautifully by my relationships with mentors and peers, and provided an essential beginning to my student ministry education.
Rachel Lopez '06
Missionary, World Outreach Ministries
Belmopan, Belize, Central America
It has been ten years since I graduated from Gordon, I can't believe how quickly time has gone by. I first came to Belize to fulfill my Youth Ministry Practicum, I returned to Belize in the summer of 2008 with the intention of starting a Teen Girl's Home. Since that time God has changed my focus and mission here in Belize. In April of 2011, I was married to my husband, Edwin, and we have continued in ministry together. In 2013, we took a break from full time ministry for much needed rest and rejuvenation. During this time my husband finished his Bachelors and has since gone on to work as a Bilingual Legal Assistant for a US Immigration Attorney, while I work from Belize for a Company in Charleston, SC as a Recruiter. As our period of rest and rejuvenation was coming to an end we began to pray about what God had for us next. It was during this time we were invited to be a part of Camp Joy Belize. Camp Joy is a Christian Special Needs Camp hosted for a week each summer. It is for Young People with Intellectual Disabilities ages 13 and up, Edwin and I are serving as Co-Directors. The camp is partnered with East Lake Community Church in Irmo, SC and our Local Church in Belize (Living Waters Fellowship Church). The goal is for the camp to become fully Belizean run in a matter of 5 years, 2017 will be the 4th year. We are involved in every aspect of the camp from recruiting and training staff to recruiting and registering campers. We have both truly been blessed working with these Special Needs young people, it has been a brand new challenge for both Edwin and I and we are so thankful for the lessons that we learn from these incredible young people. The camp is designed especially for them, they have a Bible Lesson, Craft Time, Activity Time with Horses and Swimming, plus lots of singing, dancing and fellowship. We are also still involved with facilitating sponsorship's for High School Students, we believe Education is Extremely Valuable and we want to provide opportunities for students to continue their educations (High School in Belize is not Compulsory and can be a financial burden for many families). We are also involved with the ministries of our local church; worship, sound and Sunday school.
Joel Gill '06
Director of Student Ministries, First Congregational Church
Center Ossipee, NH
I began serving at FCCO as the Coordinator of Senior High Ministries two weeks after I graduated. When I arrived the student ministry had a strong focus on outreach, which was great, but it didn't effectively shepherd, equip, and challenge the students in the church to make a difference to those around them. Through building relationships with students and parents, God has used me and many gifted leaders to bring balance to the ministry. Recently I began overseeing both high school and middle school ministries. One of the most rewarding aspects of my position is watching volunteers walk beside our students, encourage them in their faith, and challenge them to make a difference for God’s glory. I am passionate about developing leaders who invest in the lives of students. My time at Gordon College encouraged me to be about people. There is a time for programs, but of first importance are the relationships I am building with students, leaders, and families.
Allison Bethel ‘06
Program Coordinator, Salvation Army
Railton School for Youth Worker Training
In 2009 I joined the staff at the Salvation Army’s Railton School for Youth Worker Training. The Mission of Railton School is to equip youth workers for frontline ministries, who will be committed to reclaiming children and teens for Christ. Here I have the privilege of investing in the lives of young adults, and watching them grow as they develop spiritually and acquire the vocational and practical skills that they will need for youth ministry. Both the faculty and the coursework at Gordon helped me to think critically about the way in which I approach ministry and encouraged me to practically apply theory to real-life ministry.
Rebekah Kale '05
Performing Arts Instructor, Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs
Right after I graduated I served at Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts as the Kids Church Program Coordinator. I had a great time working there but wanted a change from snowy winters. I met some great people at the Salvation Army in Texas, and felt led by God to make the move south. I teach hip hop, drama, and choir to kids ages 5 to 16 involved in the after-school programs at five Boys and Girls Clubs in the Houston area. I love working with inner-city kids who cannot normally afford dance or music lessons. It's a new opportunity for kids to discover talents they never knew they had. I am honored to be a part of that. It is also a great opportunity to share my faith with kids who may not attend church regularly and show them how to use their talents to worship God. My time at Gordon really influenced how I relate to the kids. I can always find creative ways to start conversations about Christ through music and the arts. My studies also helped me to partner with parents, pastors, directors, and donors in a professional manner.
Aaron Thompson '04
Pastor at Brunnen Church
I was honored to serve as Senior Class President at Gordon College and completed my M.Div. at North Park Theological Seminary in 2007. I then began serving as a missionary and ordained pastor in Gothenburg, Sweden through The Evangelical Covenant Church of America (ECC). After three years as youth pastor at Fisher's Creek International Church, a part of Fiskebäck’s Mission Church in the suburb of Gothenburg, I was called to serve as young adult pastor in Fiskebäck’s Mission Church to reach a missing-generation. This adventure involved starting The Well, which became a multi-cultural ministry driven to proclaim and demonstrate God's love to the world. With a positive response to The Well, I was asked by the Swedish Mission Church denomination (SMK) to be a church planter in Gothenburg. The passion of this church plant is to minister with refugees, immigrants, and national Swedes alike. I was married in June 2010 and live in Fiskebäck with my Swedish wife Stina.
Andrew Beach '03
Pastor of Student Ministries
First Evangelical Church of Memphis
After graduating I participated in the Fellows Program at Falls Church in Falls Church, Virginia with the high school youth ministry. Following my year at Falls Church I accepted a call to First Evangelical Church in Memphis, Tennessee. I love that my ministry involves investing myself in students for the sake of Christ, which allows me to see God work in people's lives. My position also has tremendous variety—any given day, any given week I am doing something different. Studying youth ministries at Gordon gave me experience in the exact field I knew God wanted me to pursue. My coursework taught me how to follow the life and example of the ministry of Jesus; how to effectively communicate to teenagers; how to interact with and resolve difficult situations; and it gave me a library of books that I still go back to for wisdom and insight. My education at Gordon also showed me how to practically and strategically plan for ministry.
Jeff Lander '95
Missionary, USA Venture Teams Manager
Children of the Nations
Gordon College prepared me for real life ministry. As an experiential learner, I struggled with classroom lectures and tests, but Gordon broadened my ability to learn through hands-on training. I really valued the opportunity that Gordon students have to "plug in" to with local community ministries, churches, and mission trips. It allowed me to apply what I was learning in the classroom to the real world. Because of that, I thrived as a Youth Pastor for 13 years following graduation. In 2007 my family and I moved into full-time mission work with Children of the Nations, a non-profit, Christ-centered organization dedicated to caring for orphaned and destitute children in Africa and the Dominican Republic. I connect with people who have a passion for children and a desire to use their skills, talents and God-given gifts to change lives through mission trips. I praise God for Gordon's impact on my life, as He's used me to bring hope and lasting change to the lives of thousands of children and youth all around the globe.