When Juan Castaneda and his wife felt a call to ministry, they each began looking for the necessary education to take the next steps in their faith and calling.
“My wife went to an expensive Christian college. She accepted her call to ministry before me and originally I thought I would take the same route,” said Castaneda. “After watching my wife go through it and seeing how expensive it was, I began to search out other avenues, particularly Nazarene universities.”
When he discovered Trevecca, Castaneda was motivated by the affordability and the unique nature of the Bachelor of Arts in Christian ministry degree (CMO).
“When I came across Trevecca’s program, the price difference was huge,” said Castaneda. “I talked to the staff and one of the things that drew me to it was that the CMO program is a ministry in and of itself. It helps prepare people for ministry at different levels.”
The program has been key in shaping Castaneda’s views and inspiring growth, in part because of the diversity of the program. The CMO degree welcomes a wide range of Christian perspectives, providing students with the opportunity to expand their worldviews and encounter new ideas.
“I have learned so much through my professors and my cohort,” said Castaneda. “There is a lot of diversity at Trevecca and people from different backgrounds. They aren’t all Nazarene and it was good to see those distinct viewpoints come across in the different classes.”
Castaneda is going into his third year of service in his Nazarene district, in preparation for ordination. After many years in the church, he hopes to step into a new role and a new level of leadership with his wife.
“My wife and I have been involved with the church for a long time. She is a children’s pastor and I’ve been serving as a youth pastor,” said Castaneda. “We’re trusting God and feel like co-pastoring a church is in our future. I took a lot of leadership classes at Trevecca and I think that has helped prepare me for this next step.”
Castaneda will graduate this summer. He is passionate about caring for people and getting back to the basics of faith. He hopes to share his values and love of God with a future congregation.
“I want everyone to know that God loves them no matter what and we have to love one another,” said Castaneda. “I have a desire to present that message to the world and let them know that there is a Savior who loves them and cares for them.”
Trevecca’s Bachelor of Arts in Christian ministry is an online degree-completion program that equips adults to serve in a variety of roles, from full-time Christian ministry to service in a church or organizational setting. The program focuses on a holistic mindset, a missional vision, servant leadership skills and ministry competence.