Alum Follows Examples set by GWU Religious Studies Professors

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Dr. Jacob Myers (’01) Teaches the Next Generation of Pastors

The Rev. Jacob D. Myers, Ph.D., (’01) teaches on a small college campus that reminds him of his alma mater, Gardner-Webb. His office door is usually open at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga., and students call professors by their first names. “It’s a small community where the professors care about the students,” he described. “I’m largely doing what I’m doing because of the great role models of my Gardner-Webb professors.”

A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Myers came to GWU to prepare for ministry. From his first visit, he was drawn to the close-knit campus. Unlike his friends who went to larger universities, Myers made lasting friendships at Gardner-Webb. His girlfriend went to a different college, but she transferred to GWU after their freshman year and they were married. “She really liked the community at Gardner-Webb,” Myers explained. “She also did her master’s in counseling at Gardner-Webb.”

Three professors in the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy provided guidance and support. “In their lives, I saw people who had a deep commitment to the life of the church,” Myers assessed. “I was the first one from my family to go to college, and I didn’t know you could get a doctorate in religion. Not only did they teach me the course material, but they took the time to help me know where God was leading.”

After completing his Master of Divinity at Princeton (N.J.) University, Myers served as a church planter and pastor in the Atlanta, Ga., area, where he obtained his doctorate from Emory University. “I discerned God calling me to the church and the academy largely from the impact my GWU religious studies professors had on me,” Myers affirmed. “My primary job is to educate the next generation of pastors.”