Meet Stanley Giles
Hometown: Little Rock, AR
Home Church & Denomination: Damascus Spiritual Church, Non-Denominational
Degree: B.S. in Business Administration from Alabama State University
Garrett-Evangelical Degree Program/Year: MDiv, 2nd year
I’m a lover of good food and traveling. In my spare time I enjoy reading autobiographies, watching documentaries and writing poetry. I’d like to say that I’m your “average Joe” for the most part.
Since childhood, I have been heavily involved in the life of the church. I’ve done everything from singing in the youth choir to preaching on youth Sundays. At an early age, I was told by my church family that I would one day become a preacher. Unsure of my calling and apprehensive about the responsibilities associated with the role of a minister, I sought to pursue other vocations where I felt I would be more comfortable – counselor, school teacher, entrepreneur. But God seems to have a sense of humor!
Being theologically curious is quite a dangerous thing. When you find yourself wanting to know more about God and God’s relation to the human condition, you may make interesting decisions like applying to seminary. It is my curiosity that helps to inform my calling. I believe that God made me naturally inquisitive about the things of the Divine, and thus, knew that I would come seeking answers. As I am able to learn and uncover the things of God and the human condition, I want to educate clergy and laypersons on how to minister effectively to a hurting world. I hope to do so through the church and the academy.
Attraction to Garrett-Evangelical:
My attraction to Garrett began with the consistency and the concern of the admissions staff. They always seemed to be available to answer questions that I had about the application process and the school as a whole. Garrett Evangelical’s ability to foster a communal atmosphere is another reason that I decided to pursue my theological education here. In addition to perceiving Garrett-Evangelical as a place where I could be spiritually nurtured in a community of faith, I recognized that the institution’s faculty was both distinguished and diverse. And I guess having Lake Michigan in the backyard didn’t hurt, either.
I have witnessed my career plans alter slightly over the course of the past year. I came in with the absolute intention of going into the academy and occasionally preaching and teaching in the church. After taking my Introduction to Pastoral Care and Counseling course, I developed a deeper interest in the human condition and the various stages that we all encounter in life. I plan to do some extensive research in this area and hopefully provide clergy and laypersons with some insight into how they can make their faith applicable in such a way that it helps people navigate through the grief, despair and moments of uncertainty they experience in life.