Keep the faith

Why I Believe: My Seminary Trials


I like to poke fun most of the time but sometimes a bit of seriousness is needed. This is that time.

This new series is dedicated to stories (yours and mine) about how God showed up big in our lives. These are the defining moments in our journey that we should be sharing with the world.

My first story comes from my seminary days at Ashland Seminary, where I did my M.Div. I will publish more as time goes on but I would much rather hear and publish YOUR stories. The Bible tells us to have a testimony ready on our lips. This is one place for such preparations.


My Story


ashland seminary statueI quit my job in 2010 to go to seminary. I knew I would be giving up my engineering pay for the pay of a church mouse. I tried to save and account for this. I thought I was ready.

The very week I moved to Ashland my vehicle broke down catastrophically and my mother fell very sick. Over night plane tickets to Alaska were very expensive. Almost everything I saved for seminary was wiped out in virtually 1 month. I was shaken but not deterred.

Despite living on ramen noodles and having virtually no bills left to pay, part time youth ministry was not enough to float me through. Almost 1 year into seminary I was facing the prospect of having to walk away from what I thought was my calling.

ashland seminary campusOne night In the seminary prayer garden, in an honest and stressed state, I asked God to give me a way to survive without having to quit seminary. I think we all know what these desperate prayers feel like. I was mad. I was disappointed. I felt stupid for quitting a decent job. I doubted that I was following God’s path for me.

I went to bed 30 minutes later and woke up at 7AM to a phone call. The voice on the other end started the conversion with “how would you like to make some money!” The next thing they said was “how much do you want to do XY & Z?” I got to name my own price!

I then started contracting engineering work with that company and a few others shortly after that (none of my own doing). These companies literally just started calling me out of no where and wanted to contract me. My last two years of seminary I was self employed and I made close to double what I was getting paid before I quit my job to go back to school.

I was able to pay for everything I needed to get through school and even became master of my own work schedule, so I could still do ministry. It was a busy two years but I loved every minute.

Never lose faith and never doubt God my friends!


Your Story


Now it’s your turn. I would love to hear and publish your story.

Contact me through the contact form link at the top of this page (or just click HERE). You can also email me your story at jholmes@ashland.edu.