Joel Pollitz – Social Worker to Young Dads

When God began to prompt Joel Pollitz towards vocational ministry, Winebrenner Theological Seminary was his natural choice. The seminary is theologically open to his denomination and the campus is commuting distance from his hometown of Toledo. In addition, the seminary’s mix of online classes, week long intensives, and on-campus courses fit well into his already busy schedule.  

For three years, Joel has been working with Brothers United, a division of Pathway Inc. in Toledo, Ohio. This government funded program comes alongside 16 to 24 year old dads and stepdads, counseling, resourcing and training them for the invaluable role of fatherhood. Given Joel’s BA in Social Work, his natural people skills and his tremendous heart for service, Winebrenner’s Master of Arts in Family Ministry program is a great fit. Indeed, Joel consistently applies the skills he is gaining from the MAFM program directly to his work with the young dads and stepdads in Brothers United.  

“Since starting at Winebrenner, I feel much more confident in what I do. I work with men who are very different from me and their stories are so different from my story. I have home visits with them all day long and I am only able to relate to them in a real way thanks to the listening, interviewing and crisis care skills I am learning.” 

Joel also recognizes the impact the MAFM program has had on his life as a whole. The program’s strong emphasis on personal formation, including personalized attention from faculty members, has guided and strengthened Joel as a social worker, a husband, and soon-to-be father. As he and his wife Kyesha look forward to the arrival of twins this winter, he reflects, “I have what I need to love my kids, discipline my kids, and disciple my kids. I have the tools and skills I need to show my kids how to get to know Jesus. I have a lot of things in my repertoire, I just need to practice them!”

We are privileged to educate and influence leaders like Joel who in turn are actively influencing others. And we are grateful to our donors who make Winebrenner’s excellent programs possible. 

Pictured: Joel & Kyesha Pollitz at their church Life Chapel in Walbridge, OH