Meet Pastor Josh!
Questions for Pastor Josh:
When did you become a believer?
I did not grow up in a Christian home, so church was something we did on Christmas to make my grandma happy. It wasn't until freshman year of college, while writing a paper on evolution, that I was blindsided by the gospel. As a philosophy guy, I hold reason and logic in high regard, so it was blatantly obvious that evolution was either guided or never happened, either way I was stuck with a god. It was at that point that I began to study with any religious group that would have me. Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Catholic priests, Buddhists, Islam, etc. I even communicated with the Church of Satan and the Church of Scientology. To make a long story short, it was the bible's teaching, history, and philosophical depth that convinced me of the truth of the gospel. I knew I was a sinner in need of a savior and Christ is the only one who can save me.
What is your educational background?
I have a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Philosophy, an MA in the Philosophy of Religion from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, a Graduate Certificate in Christian Apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, MN. As a side note, I lived in a truck during my time at Trinity.
Do you have a family?
I married my high school sweetheart, Shanna, back 2001. We have three teens who attend City High: Nina, Amara, and Mason. What are some fun things you love to do? I like to kayak, hike, camp, read, take my wife out dancing, go spelunking with my kids, go to the renaissance faire, poke a fire, go shooting; basically, I like to be outside.
You encourage folks at The River to serve outside of church.
What do you do to reach the larger community?
I serve my city as a Police Chaplain with the Iowa City Police Department. I am currently the only Chaplain who lives within the city limits, so it can be overwhelming at times, but it is fulfilling. I also serve my new home state as a Hunter's Safety Instructor with the Iowa DNR. My focus is Ethics and Survival Training. I believe that gun safety and ethics are very important skills to learn.