One of the blessings of teaching at a seminary is seeing the various places to which God calls our graduates. They are called into missions, pulpit ministry, counseling, campus ministry, women’s ministry, chaplaincy, and more. And some are also called into academic ministry as they head towards a Ph.D. program and ultimately towards becoming a professor themselves.
One of our brightest graduates over the last decade has gone down this latter path. Carlton Wynne (class of 2007) did his Ph.D. at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and now is a lecturer there in Systematic Theology. But, Carlton is not only an academic. Before heading into Ph.D. work he served as an associate pastor at Providence PCA in Dallas, TX. He is a great example of a pastor-scholar–precisely the combination we value so much here at RTS Charlotte.
As the latest installment in the Where Are They Now? alumni series, here is our interview with Carlton:
1. What are you currently doing?
I have just begun serving as a lecturer in Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary as I finish my dissertation.
2. Why did you originally come to RTS Charlotte?
I came to seminary to train for pastoral ministry and to grow as a Christian. I came to RTS in particular through the counsel and encouragement of my pastoral friends and mentors, anticipating, and it turned out to be so, that the faculty there would help me find theological answers to an array of questions which had arisen for me in the context of a college ministry (Reformed University Fellowship) internship.
3. Is there one thing that you learned at RTS that has come back to you as you have ministered to others? A phrase, encouragement or advice?
There are many things (!), but one that has stuck with me is the absolute necessity for pastors to cultivate and maintain a God-given spirit of devotion to the church as they rest in the utter sufficiency of the Word of God for his people.
4. What do you enjoy most about your current ministry?
I am frankly a bit more conscious at this moment of the demands of my new teaching position than I am of the joy of it, but I do rejoice in the opportunity, especially seeing students from all walks of life embark on a seminar education, grow in innumerable ways, and then go out and serve Christ in every corner of the world.
5. What has been a struggle in your ministry?
To be honest, one struggle for me has been to trust in the faithfulness of God to care for my family and me whatever he may call us to live and work. As I repeatedly look back, however, I am always able to recall “the years of the right hand of the Most High” (Ps 77:10).
6. If you could give any encouragement to a current student in seminary, what would it be?
Two things. One, be more concerned about living for the resurrection glory to come than for the applause of the world, the esteem of your classmates, the praise of your friends, or the satisfaction of your own pride. And second, have God’s Word ministered to you week in and week out in an ordinary (read: not perfect) church with ordinary (read: not perfect) folks, love the Lord’s people as you have been loved in Christ, and speak his truth as clearly as you can with wisdom, humility and courage no matter what may happen.