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Pastoral Ministries: Called to Prepare

Pastoral Ministries

Since 1974, Pensacola Christian College has prepared pastoral ministries students to boldy preach the gospel to the world. As the young men sharpen their skills for ministerial service, they find a camaraderie in fellow students and faculty members while gaining practical, real-life experience. By the time they complete their training, graduates are bolstered with conviction and courage to influence the world for Christ.

“I knew that [God was] calling [me] not just to serve, but to first prepare for service,” said Stephen Divakar (Jr., TN), who grew up on the mission field and surrendered to serve in full-time ministry at 16. “God made it clear that [PCC] was where He wanted me to prepare.”

A Distinct Foundation

Maintaining timeless values, PCC stands by the Bible as its sole authority and main text. Every class is carefully taught from a biblical worldview, and students learn to prepare messages focused on biblical truths, concepts, and principles, prioritizing Scripture over man’s opinions. “We’re teaching what the content of Scripture is, not just about the Scriptures,” explained Dr. Jody Wolf, chair of the Bible department. “And we’re coming from a position where we believe that God has given us His Word which is preserved, inspired, and inerrant.”

Pastor Corbin
Pastor Josh Corbin

The combination of academics with a Christian emphasis challenged Pastor Josh Corbin (Pastoral Ministries ’17, M.Div. ’20) of North Flushing Baptist Church (MI) to increase his knowledge of Scripture as well as his ability to apply it. “Having God’s Word as the foundation for everything in life was extremely helpful, and it’s something I still do today because it drives me to go to God’s Word for the answers to everything I face,” he said.  

“Having God’s Word as the foundation for everything in life was extremely helpful.”

As a recent graduate, what stood out to David Schon (Pastoral Ministries ’23) is how PCC focuses on preparing students for their calling. “Each teacher furthers the College’s mission, which is to educate and prepare young people for life and ministry for Jesus Christ,” he shared. “PCC strives to educate and prepare each student to influence their world for Christ. Elite academic training is combined with hands-on experience and purposeful learning, and that leads to each student being prepared for what God has called them to do.”

Though culture and the world can manipulate change, Michael Stimson, a pastoral ministries graduate now earning his M.Div. with Pensacola Theological Seminary, never wants to see change is how strongly PCC stands for what it believes in. “I respect that [PCC] cares so much about its students that it teaches us the truth unashamedly,” he said.

Practical Training

While learning how to preach effectively, pastoral ministries students find many ways to start serving others right away—through internships and Christian Service; leading peers as residence assistants, class and collegian officers, ushers; or counseling campers during Teen Extreme.

Pastoral Ministries class on Organizing Church Events

Pastoral ministry students take classes that prepare them for future ministry. Courses include Ministerial Seminar, Homiletics, Greek, Church Organization and Administration, Evangelism and Discipleship, and more. Students can even benefit from the recently added Biblical Counseling minor to complement their preparation. Academic subjects such as English, history, and speech can be applied practically in their life and ministry.

Combined, PCC’s Bible faculty offers 600-plus years of experience: over 200 years of pastoring and more than 400 years of teaching. Campus Church pastor Jeff Redlin and youth pastor Chuck Gourley also regularly engage with the ministerial students, providing instruction and even baptismal training.

Combined, PCC’s Bible faculty offers 600-plus years of experience.

Students have countless opportunities to learn under PCC’s seasoned faculty as well as from visiting speakers on campus for conferences. One such opportunity includes the annual spring Enrichment Retreat. While PCC invests in pastors, pastor’s wives, and church staff members, current students and graduates are invited to attend and learn more about practical ministry. “It was always a spiritually refreshing time, and it helped me grow every time I was able to attend,” said Pastor Corbin. “The sessions were always practical and dealt with issues that every pastor goes through. It was beneficial to hear those sessions as a student because it helped prepare me to navigate issues, such as how to deal with depression in ministry or how to be the right kind of leader.”

Pastor Spicer
Pastor Treg Spicer
Prepared for Ministry

As they study and train together, the ministerial men form a close bond with their peers and find support from their instructors. Treg Spicer (Pastoral Ministries ’00), pastor of Faith Baptist Church (WV), will never forget the times his instructors invested in him. “My professors were not there just to teach but to also make an impact in the lives of their students,” he explained. “I am so thankful for the time they would take to answer any question I might have or to give counsel in certain situations. Much of what I learned sitting across from the desks of these men still remains with me today.”

Navy chaplain Lt. Cdr. David Downey (Pastoral Ministries ’06, M. Div. ’10) appreciated moments when his perspective was challenged for the better, one in particular during his internship at a church in the Pensacola area. “Dr. Mike Davis would frequently remind [us] interns that ‘ministry is people’ and ‘nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care,’” he recalled. Downey seeks to meet the needs of the men and women serving the U.S. and shared, “I love nothing more than to utilize a biblical worldview to help shed light on whatever issue it is that they are facing. Oftentimes, this leads them to realizing their ultimate need and putting their faith and trust in Christ as their Savior.”

“We prepare our men to communicate the Word of God with confidence.”

Pastoral Ministries

By the end of their undergraduate studies, pastoral ministries students are equipped to serve as pastors, missionaries, or evangelists—and many continue on to seminary. “Now, they’re always going to be fine-tuning their messages and their content,” said Dr. Wolf, “but we prepare our men to communicate the Word of God with confidence. The most common feedback [shared] about the men that graduated from PCC is that they’re willing to lead and serve at the same time. They are servant leaders.”

Feeling the call to pursue pastoral ministries? Prepare at PCC to deepen your Bible knowledge, Pastor Spicer encourages. “I know you will not only receive a solid education, but you will also graduate [steadfast] in your beliefs,” he explained. “[PCC] strives to produce young men who love the Lord and have a knowledge of the Word that they can forge and build upon for years to come.”