Find your voice.
Love your calling.
Thrive in community.

We believe God is at work in the world and we are invited to participate. We are all called to co-create communities that enable all to flourish and experience God’s love.

How will we respond to God’s redemptive work? Vocational discernment is aimed at helping us answer that question. We seek to strengthen our self-awareness and confidence that we are accepted, called, and empowered to give an intentional yes—to a specific work, for a particular time and community.

We also believe that each of us has a unique call and that understanding our own vision and values helps us best find our voice as a minister and place in God’s community of service.

We believe God confirms our callings in community and that the church is empowered to sustain those who are called. Listening well to a church’s shared vision and values is vital to ministry placement.

History

In 2019, Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan University established the Ministry Resource Center thanks to a nearly $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Thriving in Ministry initiative. The initiative supports a variety of religious organizations across the nation as they create or strengthen programs that help pastors build relationships with experienced clergy and access other resources to guide them through key leadership challenges in congregational ministry. This has been a grantmaking priority at Lilly Endowment for nearly 25 years.

Emmanuel Christian Seminary has prepared men and women to serve independent Christian churches and beyond for over 50 years and since 2015 has been part of Milligan University, who has served these churches since 1866. Emmanuel is eastern Tennessee’s only nationally accredited seminary, with programs in residence and online.

“More than ever before, churches need effective ministers and as one of the premier seminaries for the Christian churches, Emmanuel is well positioned to help its congregations meet this need,” said Dr. Rollin Ramsaran, Academic Dean of the seminary.

The Ministry Resource Center is just one unfolding chapter of Milligan and Emmanuel’s history of loving and serving the church.

FAQs

What does the Ministry Resource Center at Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan do?

Under the banner of the Thriving in Ministry Initiative, funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc., the Ministry Resource Center helps ministers in transition through placement, mentorship community, and continuing education opportunities. We host and highlight placement opportunities at churches and nonprofit organizations, provide mentorship relationships to graduating students from Emmanuel Christian Seminary, and offer a number of educational opportunities for our students, graduates, and alumni. We serve our students at Emmanuel as well as the local and wider community of pastors as they seek to thrive in their ministerial callings.

Who are the Ministry Resource Center’s products and materials available to?

Some resources, like placement opportunities, are available to the general public. Mentorship opportunities are available to students in their last year of seminary up to their first five years in ministry. We also offer continuing education resources such as our online Friday lunches, various webinars, and digital resource packets – all available to the public.

I want to create a ministry ad with the Ministry Resource Center. Who do I contact?

Due to a high volume of requests we ask everyone to fill out the form: Submit a Ministry Opening. If you have questions, please contact Laura Hicks Hardy to field your request. We highly recommend creating a profile with us; this elevates the visibility of your church and your available position to our placement community.

How do I subscribe to your email for updates?

Click here to join our “MRC Weekly” newsletter email list. We send bi-weekly newsletters with curated resources for your ministry as well as friendly updates from the MRC, including ministry highlights from the community.

I’m an alumnus of Emmanuel Christian Seminary. Can I create a candidate profile?

Yes, you can. Go to our Placement page, click “Candidate Profile,” and select the “Alumni” option.

What denomination does the Ministry Resource Center serve?

The Ministry Resource Center is a service provided by Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan University, a non-denominational (Christian Church / Church of Christ) Christian Liberal Arts institution. While we serve our main constituents of the Stone-Campbell Movement, we also exist to help all students and ministerial alumni thrive in ministry in whatever denomination they find themselves.

I want to partner with the Ministry Resource Center. What can I do?

Contact Beth Jarvis or Laura Hicks Hardy about your interest. If you want to serve as a mentor in our mentorship program, visit our “Mentoring Community” page for more information.

Ministry Resource Center Team

Beth Jarvis, Director

Beth Profile

Beth Jarvis is an ordained minister in the Independent Christian Church and holds an MDiv from Emmanuel Christian Seminary. She was the founding team leader for Globalscope campus ministry in Tübingen, Germany and has 15 years of experience with campus ministries, non-profits, and local churches. As a lifelong learner, Beth is actively continuing her education at Emmanuel in the DMin program. She does supply preaching and has written for CT Pastors, The Lookout, The Other Journal, and The Englewood Review of Books. She and her husband, Daniel Silliman, live in Johnson City, TN.

Laura Hicks Hardy, Program Coordinator

Woman smiling with a river behind her

Laura Hicks Hardy is the program coordinator for Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan, a
position that supports the Ministry Resource Center, the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry,
and the Doctor of Ministry programs. Laura received her bachelor’s degree from King University
in 2007 and MA in English Literature from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) in 2012.
Afterward, she worked on faculty at King University, teaching writing and literature as well as
directing the Writing Center. During that time, she discerned a call to ministry and began studies
at Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan, where she received her MDiv in 2022. She is
ordained by Hopwood Christian Church and often supply preaches for local churches, including
Hopwood, where she attends. She enjoys combining her interests in preaching, writing, and
pastoral care in creative ways. She also loves spending time gardening and hiking with her
family—Jason, Clare, and Lucy (their dog).

Dr. Gary Selby, Professor of Ministerial Formation

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Dr. Gary Selby serves as professor of ministerial formation at Emmanuel Christian Seminary. He also authored the grant for the Ministry Resource Center and was the transitional director in the first year of the MRC. Selby previously worked at Pepperdine University as the Carl P. Miller Chair of Communication and Director of the University’s Center for Faith and Learning, where he developed the COMMUNITAS Early Career Pastoral Leadership Program. He holds a PhD in Public Communication from the University of Maryland and a Master of Theology from Harding University Graduate School of Religion. He also brings 25 years of local church ministry to his work, including helping to plant the Columbia, Maryland Church of Christ and serving as their pastor for 19 years.

His latest book, Pursuing an Earthly Spirituality: C.S. Lewis and Incarnational Faith, considers themes such as our human embodiment, our sense of awareness to everyday experiences of beauty and pleasure, and the role of our human agency―all while engaging with the writings of Lewis, who himself enjoyed food, drink, laughter, and good conversation. Selby demonstrates that an earthy spirituality can be a robust spirituality.

Dream Teams are like Advisory Teams, only cooler.

Placement Dream Team: Dr. Jack Holland, Professor of Christian Care and Counseling at Emmanuel Christian Seminary; Adam Bean, Visiting Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Emmanuel Christian Seminary; Jessie Vaca, Outreach and Ministry Consultant.

Mentor Dream Team: Tim Bomgardner, Director of Interyear Fellowship, Johnson City, TN; Ben Lee, Associate Pastor at Hopwood Christian Church, Johnson City, TN; Brianna Olson, MDiv ’19, Johnson City, TN; Dr. Gary Selby, Professor of Ministerial Formation, Emmanuel Christian Seminary, Johnson City, TN.

Retreat Dream Team: Dr. Miriam Perkins, Associate Professor of Theology and Society at Emmanuel Christian Seminary, Johnson City, TN; Kelly Kastens, Worship Consultant.