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Meet Tim Gaines

Oakdale, CA



Home Church & Denomination

Church of the Nazarene


B.A. in Philosophy and Theology from Point Loma Nazarene University
M.A. in Religion from Point Loma Nazarene University
M.Div in Theology from Nazarene Theological Seminary

Garrett-Evangelical Degree Program/Year

Ph.D in Theology and Ethics, third year

Personal Information

I have been married for six years.  My wife, Shawna Songer Gaines, is pursuing ordination while serving a United Methodist Church in Lombard, IL.  We both serve the youth ministry program and I also work with the music program.  This included starting a band for the students.  Most excitingly, we’re expecting our first child in November!

Attraction to Garrett-Evangelical
I applied to a lot of Ph.D programs, but Garrett-Evangelical shot to the top of the list because of the faculty.  The faculty stood out because of their interest in me. When I met with Jack Seymour, the Ph.D program director, he asked me about my intended project. He then proceeded to take notes about my project and what I wanted to do! Dr. Waters (who is now my advisor) wasn’t available the day I visited campus, but he followed up the next day, which was very impressive to me!  The admissions office was also extremely helpful.  They put a lot of emphasis on helping potential students discern their call and guiding them to pursue a seminary education that can aid in fulfilling their call.

I am called to serve Christ and his Church.  I see my pursuit of a Ph.D in conjunction with the mission of the Church.  I don’t want to stand on the outside and critique; rather, my aim is to help it embody the full Gospel. I am pursuing ordination because I want to serve the Church as a teacher.  Therefore, my academic work will be a sub-set to my call to lead the Church. My academic work focuses on theological ethics; specifically, I am looking at the doctrines of the Church from our moral imaginations.  I believe that the way we think about God filters out in the way we live our lives.

Favorite thing about Garrett-Evangelical
I appreciate the collegiality among students and faculty.  My colleagues have pushed me to think in new ways and have encouraged me to learn about issues and ideas that I had previously not pursued. The academic guild has been opened to me because of my advisor as he encourages me to forge my own academic path.  It has been a lot of fun to work with him and, frankly, he has given me far more then I deserve.


# Sharon Bowles 2013-06-18 12:25
Tim, at Annual Conference in Redlands last week, your name was referenced and they said you were at Garrett. From all I know, Garrett is a very good school and Phil and I think very highly of Phil and Elaine Amerson. We are always amazed at the intertwining of our Nazarene roots with persons in the UMC circles. I just saw you (and Shawna) are coming for Renewal Week this fall and expecting a baby weeks after that. Wanted to take the moment to make contact and extend congratulations and blessings to you.

After reading your statement here, I am encouraged by the upcoming leadership potential from persons of your vision and dedication to the Church. We also got to re-connect with Molly Vetter, former associate at SD FUMC last week and were confirmed again that the future of the Church looks bright with the leadership and commitment of your generation.

Wishes for smooth sailing on your continuing educational work ahead,
Sharon (Wesleyan Center/Point Loma Press)
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# Timothy Gaines 2013-12-18 21:55
Thanks, Sharon, for the note. It's good to hear from you and I hope all is well. Glad to know that Molly is doing well; I admired her work from a bit of a distance while I was in San Diego. I'm sorry if this reply is coming late, but I didn't know this profile was on the Garrett site until today when someone told me. Thanks again! Grace to you and peace.
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