Here is the long story of how we started this path to seminary.
God started telling Byron that he was supposed to go into the ministry a long time ago. About 13 years ago, actually. Byron took some different turns, but God kept telling him it was His plan. Finally, in the fall of 2012, Byron decided it was time to listen, and he started actively pursuing this path.
Byron was raised with both Baptist and Methodist roots, but he never felt entirely 100% in either camp. So he was looking at attending a non-denominational seminary. He knew he wanted to come back into the Army as a Chaplain, so he started with the list on the Army Chaplain program’s website that has 10 seminaries that are partners with the program. Of those 10, we immediately ruled out 10 because of denomination. That left 2 non-denominational seminaries and 1 Church of God seminary, a denomination we didn’t know anything about. As soon as Byron looked into the doctrine of this seminary, he felt an immense peace, knowing that God was telling him this is where he is supposed to go.
Also, seeing that we are leaving our employment and living on very, very little income during our time in seminary, the cost of living for the area was a very important consideration for us. Of the 10 seminaries on the list, 9 of them are in large cities, with a higher cost of living. The Church of God seminary is the only one in a smaller town (about 50,000 people).
And lastly, of all the small towns in all of America, this perfect seminary in this small town just happens to be my home town. It’s where my family lives, it’s where I graduated high school, it’s where I grew up. I am torn by the positives and negatives of living back home after a decade being gone, but I can’t help but feel that it’s not a coincidence. It has to be God’s plan. And that’s good enough for me.