Dan Warne

Class of 2017

Master of Divinity

Class of 2017

What work or ministries have you been involved with since graduation?

In my last year at WSC, I began working with a radio program called Haven Today, taking up the baton from another WSC alumnus as a writer for the English-language radio broadcast. Just after graduating from the M.Div. program in 2017, through Haven Ministries, we launched El Faro de Redencion (Redemption Lighthouse), a Spanish-language radio program targeting Cuba with Christ-centered exposition and testimonies from the Cuban church. What began as a program broadcasting in Cuba expanded to most of the Spanish-speaking world both via podcast and on international radio stations. It was an incredible opportunity, and we’re grateful for how the Lord opened doors both to minister to and be ministered to by the Cuban church. There are more stories coming out of that season of ministry than I could tell here, but what a challenging and exciting venture for the gospel that was!

While serving as the founding speaker of El Faro, I served as the Associate Pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Temecula, CA. There came a time when, having a foot in both radio ministry and pastoral ministry, my wife Mariana and I felt that the Lord was leading us to find a full-time pastoral call. In February of last year, our family came to Heritage Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Warrenton, VA. I first served as an interim pastor and was later installed as the pastor at Heritage in December 2023. It was a tremendous blessing for HPC that WSC President Joel Kim came out to preach for my installation service. It felt like a family reunion, as we fondly refer to the WSC community as our “WSC Family!”

Have you pursued/completed further education since graduation? If so, where?

I have not pursued further education since graduation, though I have greatly benefitted from the work of fellow students who have. I’m currently reading a just-released book written by fellow WSC alumnus and friend Dr. Harrison Perkins. “Reformed Covenant Theology: A Systematic Introduction.” His work has been tremendously helpful to us now as we are training diaconal candidates and walking through covenant theology together.

The preparation the seminary provides for students who do pursue terminal degrees beyond their WSC studies, to enrich the Church through teaching and publishing, or in returning to the local church, is apparent and a tremendous benefit to those of us serving as pastors in the local church.

How has your seminary education been valuable in your current vocation (or any vocation since graduation)? Has it been valuable in ways you weren’t expecting?

I am so thankful for my education at WSC, as it prepared me to serve Christ, his Gospel, and his Church. Classes in church history, biblical languages, historical theology, Old Testament and New Testament hermeneutics, systematic theology, and practical theology take you deep into God’s Word and his ways throughout the history of the church. WSC professors are specialists who, as one beloved professor always said, “have you on belay.” Pastors are generalists who don’t usually become specialists in a given area of theological study. But that season of studying under specialists in their field gave me a well-rounded preparation for pastoral ministry. And many faculty members still take my calls and text messages when I’m wrestling with a sermon passage or a pastoral matter!

I’ll give just one example of how WSC studies unexpectedly translated into international ministry serving pastors abroad. In 2019, we held conferences in Cuba on Christ-centered preaching based on material from my studies under Dr. Dennis Johnson. We presented a method we called “The Baseball of Christ-Centered Preaching” drawn from the “Clowney Triangle” (it only seemed fitting to find a baseball analogy in Cuba). In these conferences, we leveraged former WSC professor Dr. Clowney’s method for tracing out the meaning of a biblical text and carrying it through the meaning understood by the original audience, and fulfilled finally by Christ, with application to hearers today.

A tall, smiling, Afro-Cuban pastor came up to me after one of our conferences addresses, put his arm around me, and said: “I’ve been a pastor for over two decades, and no one has ever shown me how to preach Christ from the Old Testament like this.”

To see this legacy passed from Dr. Clowney, through Dr. Johnson, and our efforts to this pastor in Cuba–that’s a moment for which I will always be grateful.

What would you say to someone who is currently considering seminary education at WSC?

When I was thinking about attending WSC, we were recently married, in the process of settling our theological convictions, and not sure how to afford seminary. WSC was welcoming, worked with us financially, and provided a wonderful setting in which to trust the Lord and work out our convictions without pressure while also providing the time and conversations we needed to walk through things. Trust that the Lord will make a way for you to pursue your calling, and talk with the seminary. The seminary cares, and the faculty cares. And the community will be filled with people like you. It’s why this many years later we still refer to the seminary community as our “WSC Family.” Though there were many hurdles along the way, and it involved big changes in our lives and a lot of faith, we were well-served and well-equipped by the seminary for the many surprising chapters of ministry that have come our way.