(This post is full of links. I have done so to more accurately describe where I come from, who I am linked to and what I have been apart of. Each link could be a blog entry in and of itself but this will have to suffice.)
Campus crusade (now called CRU) was incredibly formative for me. I was discipled by Tom Morrison who is now a United Reformed Church minister in California. I spent summers in Tahoe and Kyrgyzstan, which shaped me forever. Tahoe was 20 years ago roughly today. This was a spiritual green house. I am forever thankful to Tim Rule and others who made the summer all it could be, including many of my friends, whom I still have! Kyrgyzstan was nearly that long ago and taught me a lot about myself and others. This too shaped me in ways I can't even describe.
This parachurch ministry was incredible but I kept asking the question 'why isn't this information and training in the church?' I saw the church as the backbone to walking with Jesus but couldn't understand why the church didn't provide this kind of training. (I still don't understand why some churches don't equip their people for life and ministry!)
Campus Crusade was where I met my wife, Amy. She is far better than me in every way. I am so grateful she is willing to receive the broken and imperfect love I have to give.
It was clear that God was calling me into ministry but what kind and where I had no idea. One thing was clear, my degree in history from the University of Montana was only going to get me cups of coffee and nice conversations. I would need more schooling.
As I looked at Seminaries around the country, I was shocked by the cost of tuition. After asking Jeff Valentine, my pastor at the CMA church I attended, about schools I could go to, he recommended a school in Canada which was affiliated with our denomination.
After taking a week long course and visiting with many people it ws clear we would be moving to Regina (Ree Jine Uh, it is Latin for queen people) Saskatchewan. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be spending 3 years of my life in Canada.
Amy and I learned how to be married while she worked full time and I went to school full time. I went to Canadian Theological Seminary which is now Ambrose University College and Seminary. Our three years were wonderful! We made friends, learned what we liked and didn't like about ourselves and grew to love each other and the Lord more and more.
A key relationship developed for me at CTS that shaped things in ways I would never know. Dr. Tony Cummins taugh my first full time course in seminary called Hermenuetics. His influence and teaching were where the seeds of Anglicanism were planted for me.
It was in his classes I was introduced to NT Wright and Lesslie Newbigin. Both have impacted me deeply by their lives and their writings. Both are from the UK and display a very Anglican way of looking at life and ministry. In fact, throughout my years in ministry I have relied on both for perspective and 'advice' as to the Scriptures and ecclesiology. They were who I turned to reread when many of the things I had concerns about within the evangelical church came to a head.