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Ordinary thoughts from an ordinary guy.

A New Chapter: Seminary!

I've been in full time ministry leadership roles since 2008 and it has honestly been one of the most difficult and rewarding six years of my life. One important lesson I've learned in my short time being in ministry leadership is this: always be humble, teachable, and willing to let God shape you and mold you, in the seasons of joy, and especially in the seasons of hardship. I've also come to learn that good leaders never stop reading, growing, and maturing. It is my desire to be a good leader now and for years to come.

Currently, I have the honor of being on staff at new church plant here in Salt Lake City called Redeeming Life Church. As I continue to grow in my pastoral and ministry leadership calling, I'm discovering more of what God has for me. In doing church planting work and doing ministry in Utah for the last few years, I have come to see the value of having qualified leaders (in godly character and practical ministry skills) in an unreached place like Salt Lake City. I have also seen the great need for a lot more churches here in Utah. More churches means more qualified leaders.

I want to be one of those qualified leaders that Paul writes about in 1 Timothy that "desire a good thing". 

With that being said, Nicole and I have been talking and praying about me going to seminary for the last couple of years or so. While I'm thankful for my undergraduate work I believe that God is calling me to invest more into my theological foundation as I continue to grow into my calling to become a pastor. 

Therefore, I am excited to announce that I have been accepted into the Master of Theological Studies program at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (GGBTS) and will begin online classes in September of 2015. This degree program will provide a robust theological training on a graduate level as well as equip me with practical ministry leadership skills specific to church planting work. The beauty of being in the season of life I am in now, is that I will be able to directly apply everything I'm learning as I continue to serve full time at Redeeming Life Church - information and transformation meeting application every step of the way. This degree program has "field education" credits built into it, meaning, that my work for the church plant will count as "class work on the field" and I will have professors helping me to evaluate and critique what I'm doing and what I'm learning!

Right thinking leads to right living and I believe this new season of being in seminary will help shape my thinking dramatically in order for me to continue to serve Redeeming Life Church well as I grow into my pastoral calling, and Lord wiling, become more usable in God's hands for whatever He leads me into in the years to come.

Another incredible door God has been opening is the opportunity for me to receive scholarships and funding from Golden Gate due to my current role on staff at Redeeming Life Church. Our church is a part of a broader network of church planting and missions mobilization efforts under the umbrella of the North American Mission Board. As God wills, I will be able to receive some scholarships that are specifically ear-marked for church planters. Please join me in praying that I would be able to receive these scholarships!

 

If you would like to support my efforts in seminary I would be greatly honored! Here are some ways you can help:
 

1. Pray for personal transformation and character development. I have no desire to be full of knowledge but lacking love. Pray that my ego doesn't grow during seminary, but shrinks.

2. Pray for me to balance family time, seminary work, and full time church planting work in appropriate measure.

3. I'll be paying for books, probably out of pocket, so if you'd like to help in that area, I'll be continually updating a personal Amazon Seminary Book list. Feel free to buy any of the books listed here (and let me know what you bought) and have them shipped to me. Thank you!
       Brett Ricley
       240 East Center St
      North Salt Lake, UT 84054