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Meet Joe Sanford

I want to be ready to serve as a pastor for the next 30-35 years, and I felt confident that I would receive the tools I need at Garrett-Evangelical. Other schools did not offer me the opportunity to be pushed out of my comfort zone and wrestle with faith of the 21st century across a multitude of demographical landscapes.

Hometown:  Darlington, Indiana

Personal Information:  I grew up in Greenfield, Indiana on a farm and lived there until I went to college. I have since lived in several different places around Indiana. I attended the University of Indianapolis and graduated in 2014.  I love to spend time with family and friends. I play music professionally, and I love to watch NFL. My wife and I have two newborn twin daughters (Juliette Blue and Lyla Belle), and I have an eleven year old son (Noah). I serve as lead pastor at Darlington UMC.

Why you chose Garrett-Evangelical:  I chose Garrett-Evangelical because I knew I would be pushed and challenged. I want to be ready to serve as a pastor for the next 30-35 years, and I felt confident that I would receive the tools I need at Garrett-Evangelical. Other schools did not offer me the opportunity to be pushed out of my comfort zone and wrestle with faith of the 21st century across a multitude of demographical landscapes. I visited the campus, among other visits, and felt at home with the energy level that is so vibrant among the faculty and students.

How your faith has strengthened since attending Garrett-Evangelical:  I am learning that I am more Methodist than I had ever realized.  I am feeling affirmed in many of my theological perspectives and finding that my spiritual formation is going to be served well. I am only getting started here, so I am eager to see what all is coming during the next two and a half years.

Why you would recommend Garrett-Evangelical:  I would recommend a seminary experience that is geared to stretch people to grow in new and exciting ways over going somewhere that might be less of a challenge. The financial support and accommodating schedule for commuters is a plus too.

Future plans:​  I do not know where God is leading me, but my plan is to keep on the Elder track with the Indiana Conference. I am on schedule to graduate in May of 2018. I will continue in the process until God tells me otherwise. Other than my vocational future, I plan on enjoying every second of being a dad and husband in my wonderful family.