Student Spotlight: Mario A. Bolivar

United Theological Seminary is a place where I can continue my spiritual growth and intellectual transformation without being overwhelmed. It is a place where I am allowed to challenge my beliefs but not bury them, grow in faith and let the Spirit guide me through every phase with the help of all the resources of mentors, educators, colleagues and the community. United is an almost perfect atmosphere for an effective foundation in my call into ministry.

At United, I am not just another student – I am known by name as God knows all of us by name. I have a feeling of belonging and pure camaraderie in friendly volleyball, base Nerf ball, faculty/student games, ecumenical outdoor worships, group prayer, discussion and study, Christmas ball, stand-up comedy, and hallway theology discussions. I am reaffirmed every day that I am loved.

I am a Youth Pastor in a midsize Presbyterian Church. If there is something I’ve discovered at United it is to celebrate our differences and rejoice in our similarities; that’s why a group of youth leaders from the city of Troy, Ohio, and I have formed a group we like to call ACT – Activities of Churches of Troy, a friendly get-together of youth leaders who are working together to bring their youth groups closer with ecumenical activities such as retreats, mission and fellowship opportunities.

United has helped me value and expand my concept of community of faith; I’ve been encouraged to learn from other forms of ministry and denominations and to develop my own, which helps me transform and improve my ministry and my life as well with the sole purpose to seek the glory of God.

If you are considering United, you should take a time for prayer and meditation, and right before the Spirit guides you to make a decision, stop by for a friendly visit. If you want a guide, let me know and I will gladly show you around.

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