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Meet Josh Larson

The biggest surprise so far has been the diversity of ideas on campus. Having an amazing blend of opinions and ideas has allowed me to grow in my faith in ways I never imagined.

Hometown: Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Home church: St. Luke United Methodist Church, Sheboygan

Degree program: Master of divinity

Other degrees: Bachelor of business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

My call to ministry:

I first received a call to ministry during high school. However, rather than embracing that call right away, I put it aside for a few years. In January 2014, I accepted a job at Appalachia Service Project (ASP) to work in West Virginia. ASP provides repairs to substandard housing in Appalachia. While I was working for that organization, we were encouraged to understand where God was calling us to serve. I discerned that God (again) was calling me to ministry. Now I am at Garrett-Evangelical. I have a huge passion for housing issues and rural poverty, both issues I worked on at ASP.

My experiences at Garrett-Evangelical so far:

I chose Garrett-Evangelical to pursue my call because of its commitment to provide bold, passionate leaders for the church. I am extremely grateful for the conversations Garrett-Evangelical is having about issues regarding the church. I also chose Garrett-Evangelical because everyone was so welcoming during my visit. As soon as I arrived on campus, it felt like home.

What has surprised me:

My experience at Garrett-Evangelical so far has been amazing. It has been great to be in conversation with other students and professors about Christianity, church, and the broader world. The biggest surprise so far has been the diversity of ideas on campus. Having an amazing blend of opinions and ideas has allowed me to grow in my faith in ways I never imagined. I often find myself moved during the Wednesday Gospel chapel service, which has been a great place for fellowship after dinner.

My future plans:

I am in the inquiring candidacy part of ordination, planning to become a deacon in The United Methodist Church, and I am working on discerning to what part of ministry God is calling me. My time working with ASP was very important to me, and while I am not sure exactly where I am being called in mission and service work, I do feel called to a connection to that type of service. I am excited to continue the discernment process next year during field placement.