Student profile // Master of Divinity
Through continued study of the Word, Cary’s convictions about his experience in the Restoration Movement changed, leading his family to the historic Reformed tradition of Christianity and ultimately Mid-America.
Hometown: Rensselaer, Indiana
Education: Bachelor's in Bible/Media from Johnson University
Degree sought: MDiv.
Family: Wife Karese, four children
Church affiliation: Christian Reformed Church in North America
Cary was born and raised in a Christian family in Indiana, but not a Reformed Christian family. His church experience was in the Restoration Movement, a tradition whose doctrinal distinctives are baptismal regeneration and a heavy emphasis on the free choice of man in salvation. Sensing a call into the ministry, he attended a Restoration Movement Bible College named Johnson University where he studied for his undergrad. It was during these years that he was introduced to his future wife, Karese. He graduated in May 2012 from Johnson University with a Bachelor’s in Bible/Media.
“I love the learning environment at Mid-America. As someone who didn’t grow up in the Reformed tradition, I feel like MARS is a place where I get to learn the best of all the different streams of the Reformed faith.”
Following their marriage in August of 2012, Cary adopted Karese’s sons Peyton and Keagan, and through the mentorship of their local pastor, Cary sought full-time pastorate and was called and ordained in December 2013 as the pastor of Iroquois Valley Christian Church in Rensselaer, Indiana. But as a pastor, Cary began to feel the heaviness of responsibility upon him in the office of undershepherd that God had placed him in. He says, “I started to think often about how James said not many should be teachers because they would receive a stricter judgment and how Paul instructed Timothy to study to show himself approved a man who rightly divides the Word of God.” During this time of searching the scriptures for greater convictions of truth, the family welcomed their daughter, Amarese, in March 2015.
Through continued study of the Word, Cary’s convictions changed, leading his family to the historic Reformed tradition of Christianity. “I started to see the sovereignty of God all over the pages of scripture and the Holy Spirit began to confirm the truth of God’s Word in my heart. I immediately had a desire to return to seminary and plant my feet more firmly in these deep truths. I remember sitting in my office at the church I was pastoring, really struggling to figure out how I could go back to school, and as a long shot Googled ‘reformed seminaries in Indiana,’ thinking nothing would pop-up. To discover that there was a well-respected seminary only an hour from where I was pastoring was a shock. At that moment, I had a deep sense of God’s blessed providence in my life.”
Unfortunately, following Cary’s acceptance into Mid-America he was dismissed as the pastor of Iroquois Valley due to his changed convictions, thus affirming his desire to return to seminary and seek a pastoral call in the Reformed faith. By God’s providence and through God’s grace, Cary was offered a position as the Seminary Intern of Cottage Grove Christian Reformed Church which he gladly accepted. He and his family look forward to serving and glorifying God alongside Cottage Grove Christian Reformed Church as well as through studies at Mid-America Reformed Seminary. “I love the learning environment at Mid-America. As someone who didn’t grow up in the Reformed tradition, I feel like MARS is a place where I get to learn the best of all the different streams of the Reformed faith.”