Meet a Current Student

November 26, 2012

Eric Bowman is currently an M.Div. student preparing for ministry. Originally from Pittsburgh, Eric was a member of the PCUSA for most of his life and studied for one year at another seminary before moving to Philadelphia. When asked what prompted him to make the move, he said, “I remember there was one incident where I was in a systematics class, and the professor was talking about the merits of icon worship, and I thought – 'That’s not even Reformed!'” Eric had a difficult time making the move, but his increasing discontent with his seminary experience caused him to consider other options.  With the encouragement of a friend involved in campus ministry, God gave him a natural inclination to go to Westminster after his first year of seminary studies.

Although Eric grew up in the church, he did not come to know the Lord until his sophomore year of college. During his first year of college, when he caught mononucleosis, lost 60 pounds, and went through a traumatic break-up from a long-term relationship, he forsook the faith of his youth. Surprisingly, God used his experience as a pizza delivery driver to draw him back to the faith. Eric says of his experience: “When you’re working to deliver pizza, you either listen to the radio, you talk to yourself, or you pray. I thought, ‘if there is a God, I will have a discussion with you, and if you answer me, good for you.’”

God used Eric’s times in prayer to begin to till the soil of his heart. During the summer between his freshman and sophomore year, Eric began going to Campus Crusade for Christ and was invited to attend church for the first time in almost a year and a half. After a year of running from God, he professed faith in Christ.

Almost immediately after his conversion, Eric decided to drop his nuclear engineering major and pursue a communications degree to prepare for future ministry. After getting more involved with Campus Crusade, he began to consider what a life in ministry might look like. After he became an elder at his church, he began to see from a pastor’s perspective how a church is actually run, which prompted his desire to go into a solid, church-based ministry.

When asked how his studies at Westminster have impacted his walk with the Lord, he said, “One of the bigger things I’ve learned is the importance of the literal Word. Taking some of the systematic theology classes like prolegomena really made the Scriptures come alive. The Scriptures are alive because they are applicable to our time. God was reaching me to show me that he is ultimate truth, ultimate reality, and that His Son is the ultimate friend we have.”

Eric currently serves in a young adult ministry called “Crossroads” at New Life Dresher (PCA). When describing how his studies have impacted his current ministry, he said, “I think of Peter and the other apostles, how they started out in the temple, and how they were in the house of the Lord speaking and preaching the Word. Then they went out and still supported one another. Sometimes people lose sight of the fact that we are servants of God and also servants of one another every day of the week. I try to live this out in Crossroads.”

Although Eric is not entirely sure where he will go after graduation, he is learning to trust the Lord amidst the uncertainty. Please pray for greater wisdom as Eric learns to balance a part-time job with his schooling.

To support the work of Westminster in the lives of students like Eric, please consider supporting Westminster by donating online.