Marcus Blackwell, M.Div. '05
B.A. Morehouse College 1986
The YDS experience has been exceptional for me. I have learned to think critically on issues of religious importance. Secondly, I have come to realize that God can use all sorts of people or vessels to accomplish God's mission on earth. The rich diversity in the student body is important in teaching and ministering to a congregation, and I have benefited tremendously from this journey.
As to my future, I am not absolutely certain what I will be doing. I feel that I have strong counseling skills that would work well in a pastorate position. Currently, I have an opportunity, which ironically came through my music ministry, to serve as a Youth Pastor at a local Hartford church. These young people are wonderful but are facing tremendous pressures, not only on teen issues but also the temptations and threats of urban life. I am in prayer about this assignment because it crosses my cultural and religious background. Furthermore, even my approach to theology may need to be adjusted as the constituent audience or people of faith are teens with perhaps a different outlook on life because of generational and socio-economic differences. In either case, I am certain that God will direct me during this time of discernment and allow this experience to lead to something great, much like the journey to and through YDS.
Long term, I hope to connect faith-based institutions with business and wealth creation for the people of God. This is a fairly new concept that accompanies the “prosperity movement” and the megachurch phenomenon. However, it is not new biblically speaking, as Christ taught about money and living life more abundantly. This is an area where congregations with people of color need assistance, especially since the wealth gap is widening in this country between the haves and the have-nots. I expect to form a non-profit organization that will allow me to counsel, coach and teach people how to better handle their finances.