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Mailing Address
Garrett-Evangelical
2121 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60201

Phone: (847) 866-3971
Toll-Free: (800) SEMINARY
Fax: (847) 866-3989
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Meet Benjamin Bower

Ben BowerHometown
West Bloomfield, Michigan

Age
24

Home Church
Birmingham First United Methodist Church

Degrees
B.A. Philosophy & Religious Studies, Albion College 

Garrett-Evangelical Degree Program/Year
M.Div. third year

Career Plans
I plan on ministering in the local church as an ordained elder in the UMC.

Personal Information
I have been involved in some type of ministry in the church since I was in high school. Before coming to Garrett-Evangelical I worked with Crossroads of Detroit, taught elementary students through Baldwin Summer Enrichment Camp, coordinated projects for Motown Mission, and did a little bit of everything for Cass Community Social Services. My most meaningful ministerial experiences are those from my time working in Detroit. Lately, I have been thinking about the ways in which God is moving in my life and in the world around me. I believe that God cares deeply about those who have the least and hurt the most. I have a heart for justice and I pray that God will use me in ministry to further God’s vision of a just and whole world.

Attraction to Garrett-Evangelical
The decision to come to seminary was not an easy one for me. I began wrestling with that question in my junior year of college. Through my discernment process I believed that God was calling me to further my education, to sharpen the skills that I had already acquired, and to prepare by learning new truths about the work I am called to do.  I was and am committed to seeking ways by which God can equip me to do such a work. I narrowed my search to three seminaries. There are many reasons that I was attracted to Garrett-Evangelical. However, there were two things that really pulled me in. The first is that I knew plenty of alums who were doing incredible work for God in Detroit and around the world. The second was that Garrett-Evangelical was the only seminary that made me believe that I was truly wanted there and that the education they could provide was exactly what I would need in order to do the work that I felt called to.

Calling
When I was 15, I was at a youth conference with a few friends. We were able to choose which workshops we would attend and one day as we were looking over our options I felt drawn to a workshop on entering ministry as a profession. As my friends all prepared to go as a group, I went my own way. At that moment a seed was planted within me. A year later I was given the opportunity to preach at my church’s largest service along with some fellow youth group members. After the service, my pastor came up to me and suggested that I’d be pretty good at this. I then embraced any leadership opportunity in my youth group and around the church that I could. The church afforded me a place to experiment and grow in a role of responsibility and leadership while continuing to grow in my faith and my understanding of who God is. By the time I was ready to graduate from high school I answered the call that God had placed on my heart and believed that no other work would be as fulfilling as this.

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The United Methodist Church, welcomes
students from a wide range of faith traditions.