“You should be an Army Chaplain!” While Rob Wolpert may not have heard God declare those words in an audible voice, he nonetheless received the command loud and clear. That 2013 conversation with God would radically change his life.
Rob was still an unbeliever when in 2011 he entered Bowling Green University as an officer in training for the Army. He shares that his interest in the Army was motivated by “personal glory” and a desire to live the American dream. Then his second year on campus, he came to Christ through the influence of Cru, an on-campus student ministry. When Rob began to serve His new Master, God gave him “new marching orders:” to work for the glory of His Kingdom as an Army Chaplain.
Because the military’s chaplaincy program requires a Master of Divinity degree (or equivalent), Rob searched for a suitable seminary following his graduation from BGSU. He chose Winebrenner thanks to our commitment to theologically sound teaching, our reputation for academic excellence, and a collective “thumbs up” from his Christian friends. He finished the M.Div. program in three years, taking one semester “off” to attend the Army’s three-month Chaplain Basic Officer Leader Course.
Rob’s Master of Divinity degree has brought him a huge step closer to becoming an Army Chaplain. Apart from the theological education itself, he notes “critical thinking” and “listening” as two of the most valuable skills he acquired while at Winebrenner. Rubbing shoulders with students and leaders from varied backgrounds and traditions challenged Rob to actually engage in others’ stories and to understand the reasoning behind their differing doctrines and practices.
His professors also taught him to listen for the subtle clues that people offer up in conversation, clues that reveal a person’s core values, unspoken desires, and painful struggles. These foundational skills have prepared Rob to work with military personnel who come from very diverse backgrounds and who are likely to face intense circumstances.
Rob came to Winebrenner knowing what the complex military environment would require of him: a high level of maturity, emotional health, a deep understanding of Scripture, and dependence on the living Word. He graduates this August 2019 not merely with a degree in hand, but with the confidence that he can move forward on strong spiritual and professional foundations.