Jonathan Cruse

Class of 2017

Master of Divinity

Class of 2017

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

During my last of year of seminary, I accepted a call to pastor Community Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Kalamazoo, MI. I was installed as pastor in the summer of 2017. This was a revitalization work, and God has been very gracious to bless us with growth–such that we actually outgrew our building! At the start of 2024, after a three year search, we moved into a new building to house our congregation. It is five times larger than our previous facility, and provides not only ample space for our flock, but also a place to serve needs within the community. God has again proven to us that He gives more than we can ask or imagine!

Beyond the regular work of pastoring, I serve the wider church whenever I am able through a writing ministry. Most recently, I have contributed to P&R’s Blessings of the Faith series (edited by Jason Helopoulos) with a volume on church membership (releases June, 2024). I was so grateful for the opportunity to share my passion for the local church in this way, and pray it will be a useful resource for pastors and church leaders as they seek to convey the blessings of belonging to God’s people.

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

I am currently pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry through RTS Charlotte. My project focus is on the Westminster Directory for the Public Worship of God, with Dr. Chad Vandixhoorn advising.

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 could never adequately describe how influential my WSC education has been on me as a person and as a pastor. Most fundamentally, I am thankful for WSC’s emphasis on preaching Christ. There is nothing more important I do in a given week then stand up in the pulpit and point people to Jesus. Doing so in such a way that is compelling, memorable, and faithful to the text is something I owe entirely to my WSC training.

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

Seminary education aims to cultivate deep knowledge alongside deep piety, which is no easy task! At WSC, I experienced pastor-professors who shared the burden of Paul: desiring to see Christ formed in me (Gal. 4:19). This formed a genuine love between the students and faculty and a joyful atmosphere even amidst the rigors of academia. I always recommend WSC to prospective ministers; not only because I believe it will make them competent pastors, but because I believe it will make them better Christians.