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Keith D. Miller
Major: Christian Ministries
Pastor of Student Ministries, Manor Church, Lancaster
Choosing a Major
Keith Miller has always connected well with others, particularly in interactions with young people, but it took a summer camp position while he was in high school to channel this interest into potential career goals. He describes, “I felt such an intense passion and love for working with students that I realized youth ministry would be a perfect fit.” Along with his interests, Keith also assessed his talents, realizing that “God gifted me with speaking skills, which gave me confidence” to pursue a vocation of ministry.
The Messiah Experience
Keith identifies three areas of campus life as key to shaping his Messiah experience. “The first,” he explains, “was my Christian Ministries major, which was a fantastic experience as I grappled with new ideas alongside others that were studying the same field, and amidst professors that challenged and encouraged me to own my faith and ask difficult questions.” Along with engaging the issues and concepts introduced in his course work, Keith also excelled in athletics, running track and cross country all four years and serving as captain of both teams his senior year. He greatly values his involvement with Messiah athletics, noting, “To be constantly competing during each semester was a challenge, but it allowed me to stay focused, and the relationships I formed with my teammates continue to be among the strongest friendships I have today. Being a part of one of Messiah’s teams was a life-impacting experience.” Keith occupied the rest of his free time in Climenhaga Fine Arts Center, where he pursued his theatre minor and met his future wife.
Career Center Experience
As he prepared to leave college, Keith consulted the Career Center for assistance in compiling a resume. He observes that “they gave me some guidance and insight, and feedback when I was done. It was a great help.”
When asked which skills and experiences from college that he still finds applicable in the workplace, Keith enthusiastically responds, “All of them! I constantly use the people skills that I learned while at Messiah, as well as the educational foundation that I received.” Like many graduates, Keith also appreciates the multifaceted education afforded by a liberal arts education, and he finds it particularly applicable to his field: “My job constantly requires me to be keeping up with cultures, trends, and new ideas, and Messiah did well at modeling that for me.” While he knew he wanted to pursue ministry before he entered Messiah, he adds, “My experience there solidified my calling and gave me the confidence and skill that I was lacking.”
What to Do Next
Because he knew that he wanted to channel his major into youth ministry, Keith got a head start on the job search process and researched potential positions as a senior. Professors like Stephen Gallaher, Jay McDermond, and Eric Seibert in the Department of Biblical and Religious Studies provided support for Keith as he prepared to graduate. He acknowledges that “they all gave me insight into different areas of ministry and encouraged me in the long and arduous interview process.”
Although with a job secured he was a step ahead of most graduating seniors, Keith describes the period immediately after graduation as “a whirlwind.” He explains, “I had gone through the interview process with Manor Church in mid-spring, so I had already been hired by the time graduation came around. The day after graduation, I moved and began working full-time. A month later, I got married, and I’ve been running to keep up ever since!” Although his transition from college to career was a bit overwhelming, Keith asserts that “the first year has been great, and the transition from college, for me at least, has been a relatively easy one.”
Profile by Tiffany DeRewal, August 2006