One of the many new faces on campus this fall is Rev. Ted Goshorn who joins the Reinhardt community as the University Minister to Students and Adjunct Faculty Member. A Berry College graduate, Goshorn has been working as a pastor in various United Methodist churches in Georgia for the past four years. On his path to Reinhardt, Goshorn says life has often landed him in unexpected places.
“At every moment where I’ve had one thing in mind, turns out God has something else in mind,” said Goshorn. “So, when people ask me where do you see yourself in the future, what’s next after this, I’ve learned to say, ‘I don’t know. I’m here until God calls me somewhere else.’”
After earning his undergraduate degree, Goshorn was unsure of what he wanted to do with his degree but he knew he was interested in counseling. For that reason, he enrolled in a graduate program at James Madison University where he earned a Master of Education degree in Counseling Psychology and Higher Education Administration.
Two years later, while working in Student Affairs at Mercer University, Goshorn remembers “there was something stirring in my soul and I couldn’t figure out what it was, and I’d tried some things that didn’t work out but I felt like maybe I was being called a different way.” He found that way one day after his boss gave him the idea of becoming a college chaplain.
“The thought stuck with me, and God put the right people in my life,” he said. “So, since I couldn’t get rid of the thought I talked about it with some folks and some friends and one thing led to another and realized that the stirring in my soul was God calling me to ordained ministry.”
After earning his Master of Divinity with a concentration in Formation and Witness at Emory University, Candler School of Theology, Goshorn became a pastor. He has served at several Methodist churches around Georgia, and most recently, he was the Associate Pastor at Vineville United Methodist Church and President of the nonprofit organization Field of Hope Inc. His career path then took another unexpected turn when his friend mentioned Reinhardt’s search for someone to fill a new pastoral position.
Goshorn said God brought him to the University during a time when he did not realize he was ready to move again. He recalled feeling “very conflicted” after a phone conversation with Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Roger Lee.
“I was sold once I talked to him and heard his story, heard his background, and then of course seeing his ability to connect with people was another comfort level. But, more than anything else, it was his commitment to service,” Dr. Lee said. “Commitment to service carries a lot of weight with me, and not only his boldness in his faith but his understanding of God’s calling, and for sure his desire to serve people. That’s what it’s all about to me.”
While working in his garden to clear his mind, Goshorn remembers hearing a clear message, “uproot yourself and be planted somewhere else.” He says he knew it was God telling him to take the position. When Goshorn initially interviewed for the position, he recalled feeling, “a sense of home here without meaning to.”
After pursuing multiple directions, Goshorn feels this job is “a merger of both career tracks” that he pursued in school. He says he has had a “remarkably smooth transition” into Reinhardt and he has big aspirations for the school’s ministry.
Goshorn said, “My hope is that through my position, students encounter the living God in such a way that they are shaped as a person of faith, and go from Reinhardt and transform the world.”
Students can become involved with the campus ministry in several ways, like the worship service that takes place every Tuesday at 7 p.m. on the second floor of the Hasty Student Life Center. There are also Prayer Services every Tuesday and Thursday at 9 a.m. in the Tarpley Prayer Chapel.
A Rest and Renewal Retreat at Hinton Rural Life Center in North Carolina is planned for Sept. 23-24. Goshorn’s goal is to “establish a culture of worship on campus,” and slowly add to the campus ministry as he learns more about the needs of the university community.
Written By: Jordan Beach. Photo Credit: Jordan Beach