Like most married couples, Josh and Melissa Fuentes had plans.
“I knew I wanted to go into ministry when I was 17,” recalls Josh. “As a kid, I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, but when I felt God calling me into the ministry, it just made sense. I could see myself working in a church for the rest of my life.”
Josh met his wife, Melissa, while they were both interns at First Baptist Church-Universal City, just north of San Antonio.
“I didn’t like him when we first met,” says Melissa, “but he grew on me.”
“Kind of like a fungus,” kids Josh.
After the internship ended, the two started dating and were married not long after. Around that time, Josh was finishing his bachelor’s degree from Wayland Baptist University, and was considering where he would attend seminary.
“When I was younger, I always thought I would pursue a Master’s of Divinity at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary,” says Josh. “That was where all my previous youth pastors had earned their seminary degrees from.”
After graduating from Wayland, however, Josh was offered a position as a youth pastor at Second Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, TX. Josh and Melissa made the move to Corpus with the assumption that Josh would have to travel to San Antonio to continue his theological education.
“I didn’t think there was a way to receive a seminary degree in South Texas.” Upon starting his new position at Second Baptist, Josh quickly learned otherwise.
Senior Pastor of Second Baptist, Dr. Dana Moore, was and still is an adjunct professor at the South Texas School of Christian Studies (SCS). Through his and several others’ encouragement, Josh decided to enroll in Logsdon Seminary at SCS. “It made sense to attend seminary in Corpus,” says Josh. “Melissa and I were starting a family, and our first daughter, Sage, had just turned two. SCS’s convenient location allowed me to receive my degree while being able to spend more time with my family by not having to make a drive to another city each week for classes.”
Some of Josh’s most memorable moments while attending Logsdon include his classes with Dr. Lyles and the friendships he made.
“When I hear pastors say they feel like they didn’t learn anything from seminary, I want to tell them ‘You did it wrong,’” says Josh. “My Old Testament class with Dr. Lyles made me see the Old Testament in a way I never have, and I now get to share that with others. The friendships I had with other students were so important. We were being shaped together and were able to share our ministry experiences with each other. Some of the most meaningful conversations I’ve ever had were with my fellow SCS classmates.”
In May 2015, Josh graduated from Logsdon Seminary and celebrated with 13 other graduates from HSU and SCS. While walking the stage to receive his graduation gift, Josh and Melissa’s 14 month-old daughter Emery, decided to join her father on stage to shake Dr. Celelli’s hand.
“I’m thankful to have attended a seminary that lets you celebrate your degree with one hand, while holding your kid in the other.”
Cheryl Nafzinger serves as Executive Assistant in Student Development for South Texas School of Christian Studies.