September 18, 2023
We think relationships are an important aspect of education. That’s why we work with mentor teams, cohorts, and partner organizations. To help you get to know the people who are part of the Kairos community, we spotlight partners, faculty, alumni, students, staff, and board members from time to time. Today we are looking at one of our faculty.
Name: David Woolverton
Location: Lancaster, PA
Role within Kairos: Affiliate Professor, Faculty Mentor, Mentor Support Team member
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Psychology; Master of Divinity with concentration in pastoral care and crisis intervention, Doctor of Ministry in conflict management
Teaching and Research Interests: Leadership, church conflict dynamics, clergy coaching, communication and group dynamics, team ministry development, turnaround ministries
How to connect with David: firstname.lastname@example.org
We asked David a few questions to learn a bit more about him. Here’s what we discovered.
Why are you engaged in the work of theological education?
My personal mission mandate is to “mentor and multiply” for the sake of advancing the Kingdom of God. For me, everything is about making disciples for Jesus. I absolutely love coaching, equipping and empowering people (and organizational systems) to live out passionately their call to ministry, and to be ambassadors of Christ-centered hope—regardless of their vocational context. A solid theological education is one of the best ways to impact that Kingdom movement: influencing one individual through Christian discipleship can have a multiplying effect on families, churches, organizations, communities, and our segments of the world. I want to be a part of empowering that movement.
When you are teaching or working as a faculty mentor, what kinds of questions lead the way?
First and foremost, regardless of the context, I ask, “Who can I take with me?” For me, that’s the fundamental invitation to discipleship. Additionally, as a faculty mentor, as well as in my role on the Mentor Support Team, I consistently use the following questions:
What rhythms do you like to follow?
I have a number of personal and professional rhythms. Here are a few. As for personal rhythms, my daily devotions are vitally important to me. I’m a night owl, so for me, I’m doing my devotions before going to bed. It’s during that time when I’m reading God’s Word, reflecting on what God is speaking into my life within my reading, praying through what I’ve learned in my day, and praying about the coming day. My daily prayer continues to be: “Lord, what do you need me to see, what do you need me to hear, what do you need me to know, who do you need me to see, who do you need me to hear, who do you need me to know, what do you need me to do. I am your servant, in Jesus’s name. Amen.”
Another personal rhythm involves writing. I write something every day. I’ve published one book (Mission Rift: Leading through Church Conflict, Fortress Press, 2021), written a new book that’s waiting for a publisher, written multiple devotionals for my congregations, written articles and blog posts, and I’m currently preparing to write my third book. I need to write. It’s how I give birth to what God is gestating within my soul. It’s also how I give away what God has given to me.
Yet another personal rhythm is that every Christmas season, I must watch Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye’s White Christmas (don’t judge me!). It’s not Christmas until I watch that movie. No matter what else may be going on, watching that reminds me that all is right with the world (even when it’s not).
Professionally, I’m a full-time pastor. Every week, I walk through our sanctuaries (we have two) and I pray over each pew and seat, lifting up everyone who the Lord will be bringing into our sphere of influence. I pray for a fresh movement of the Holy Spirit through our congregation that will transform the communities surrounding our church.
As a faculty mentor, I’m consistently praying for my students, for other faculty mentors, for the Kairos staff (many of whom have become dear friends). I also have a check-in rhythm twice a week where I review the assignments of my students.
When you are not teaching, mentoring, or engaged in some other aspect of your work with Kairos, where might we find you?
I am a full-time pastor in a growing, dynamic congregation. I’ve been doing full-time ministry for over 35 years. I also do clergy coaching and consults in church conflict situations. Additionally, I serve on the board of directors for a local non-profit ministry that seeks to address the needs of the homeless population within our surrounding communities. I’m also a Spiritual Care Provider with the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education, providing local support to the chaplaincy and spiritual care department at Lancaster General Hospital.
You can also find me at a Barnes & Noble bookstore café—drinking herbal tea while reading through leadership or business books or paging through issues of Family Handman magazine so that, somehow, I can absorb by osmosis skills that I never inherited genetically.
When not working, I’m hanging out with my wife, Kristine, and our 5-year-old bernedoodle. Kristine recently retired from teaching within our public school system—serving 16 years as a fifth-grade teacher, followed by 17 years teaching English as a Second Language. I am blessed to have been married to my best friend for over 33 years. We love to travel, hike, read, make music together (we both play piano/keyboards), and seeing how we can make each other laugh more.