Nathanael Hofstetter Ressler
Current Church (or home church): Harrisonburg Mennonite Chruch
Ministry Interests: Pastoral Ministry
Geographic Preferences: Midwest, Ohio
- AA Bible and Religion, Hesston College
- BA Congregational and Youth Ministry, EMU
- MDiv Pastoral Ministry, EMS
History in Ministry
Counselor at Menno Haven Camp and Retreat Center
Missionary with Southern Illinois Mission Partnership
Involved in Campus Ministry at Hesston and EMU
Temporary Camp Director at Camp Buckeye
Seminary Community Counsel member at EMS
Call to Ministry
When I was in 2nd grade I had an assignment to draw a picture of and write a paragraph about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I drew a picture of me on the pulpit and wrote I wanted to be a pastor. That childhood vision has since been clarified and refined. My call into ministry has been of constant whispers, some subtle unconscious pushes and others soft flashes of revelation. At the end of my 1st year of high school we moved to be the regular presence in at a mission center our church had help found. This experience of participating in the work of mission with my parents taught me more reliance on God, seeing the holiness of the ordinary, and helped me foster a deeper connection with the Spirit. After high school I went to Hesston College this was a time of flourishing for me. My spiritual foundation was strengthen and the frameworks for further growth were constructed. In was in this season that my commitment to enter into ministry was greatly strengthened. The summer after EMU I stayed and worked on campus. During this time I went through a Dark Night of the Soul; briefly, this is an extended period where one cannot feel or experience God in anyway. This deepen my understanding of God present and the work of Spirit within my sense of call. Seminary has been formational almost beyond words. My understanding of myself, Scripture, and the Church have grown profoundly
I am filled with a deep sense of gratitude when reflecting on my experience at EMS. I have encountered valuable learnings and challenges, holy relationships, and, perhaps above all, laughed a lot!
What courses did you enjoy the most at EMS?
In no particular order here are the courses which I found particularly engaging and
Formation 1, 2, and 3
Job (Andrea Dalton Saner)
Churches & Social Transformation (David Evans)
Missio Dei (David Evans)
Isaiah (Andrea Dalton Saner)
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Mark Thiessen Nation)
Pastoral Care (Lonnie Yoder)
Biblical Theology (Andrea Dalton Saner)
Christain Ethics (Andrew Suderman)
What thoughts would you like to share with those considering entering seminary?
Everyone needs to go through their own particular discernment process and seminary isn't for everyone. However, my experience at EMS has been profound and I would highly recommend anyone who thinks seminary might be an option for them to visit. It might be that it is not for you but it very likely might be a life transforming experience.