NEWS & PRESS RELEASES
Alex Morris: Preparing Through Experience
Alex Morris long felt led to serve in ministry but hadn't found the right opportunity.
In 2008, his wife Gloria, a doctor, was recruited to work in a medical practice in Scranton, PA. Alex found his opportunity to prepare nearby after exploring his educational options at Baptist Bible Seminary.
Now a Master of Divinity student, Alex is serving his internship at two locations in New York City - start-up CityView Baptist Church in Queens and First Baptist Church in Manhattan.
Upon completion of the academic program, BBS M.Div. students gain from a one-year paid, supervised internship. This powerful opportunity lets students hone their leadership skills in a tangible ministry experience. It's hands-on experience that is a hallmark of the BBS approach.
When we moved Scranton, I researched BBS and found I knew someone who was a student there. I talked to him and to some of the faculty members. It seemed like a very good opportunity and a great fit.
I had been involved in music ministry ever since I became a Christian. It is good for that aspect of church to be led by pastors; for worship to be led pastorally as much as possible. The Worship Ministries Leadership concentration seemed to fit my gifts, experiences, and passions.
I am doing a dual internship, spending about half my time at First Baptist Church in Manhattan and the other half in Queens with the CityView Baptist Church team. We are pioneering, so this is sort of an experiment. I ended up on the church planting team. I heard BBS' Project Jerusalem helped start seven churches in PA and their desire was to expand to New York City. I was immediately interested, having grown up in Chicago and then living in Philadelphia for 17 years. I was at home in the city.
Being involved in a multi-ethnic church plant intrigued me. It is my ministerial dream job. A multi ethnic church is reflective of how the church is going to be eventually, with every tribe, tongue, and nation. It's a great look forward. We're looking to add another pastor to our team at CityView. He is a Brazilian-American who currently leads a small church of Brazilian-Americans.
Breaking into a new city and building relationships with the community is a challenge. We have been able to do that more successfully in some areas than in others. My daughter has started public school, so we're trying to get to know her classmates and their families, teachers, and her principal. Building relationships takes time. We want CityView to be a kind of flagship church. We're not sure where it will lead, but we envision multiple churches planted in the area.
The Master of Divinity program seemed like the best preparation for pastoral ministry, especially with the structure of the program, its strong emphasis on Bible, and the requirement of the internship. No matter what class you're in, there is always an emphasis on how you will preach what you're learning, how you will counsel with it, and how you will use it in ministry situations.
The tuition during the internship is half the cost. Not only that, but BBS always finds churches that can pay their interns. The Seminary does everything they can to make the entire experience workable.
I have been able to build some good relationships with my fellow students. I have been involved in leading chapel worship, which is a great experience. Getting a chance to work through some of the theology classes was also very helpful. Because I don't come from a Baptist background, there were some theological viewpoints I had to work through for the first time. I was glad to be able to do that in the context of classwork.
The most valuable part of my internship has been learning about ministry alongside someone who is actually doing it. I had an opportunity to learn about the logistics of a funeral, and also to be around Pastor Matthew Hoskinson at First Baptist and watch him minister and encourage those involved. This is the kind of thing that doesn't come up that much in a classroom. Having experiences like that, getting involved and being there alongside someone who has already done these kinds of things, is extremely important.
The story of Baptist Bible College & Seminary is best told through the lives of students and alumni. Share your story and tell others how God has been leading in your life. Visit www.bbc.edu/yourstory.
Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers an outstanding Christian education through on-campus, online, and other distance learning options. Students go beyond the ordinary, learning to learn and serve with excellence as they gain critical leadership and life skills.
To learn more, go to www.bbc.edu or call 570.586.2400.
Posted on: 3/6/2012 4:13:27 PM