Garhett Morgan, fourth from left back row, is pictured with a cohort from the MAPM program at Andrews University. The sanctuary class was taught by Felix Cortez, pictured here seated fourth from left. 

May 29, 2024

From Secular Education to Spiritual Enrichment

In a world where faith and education often walk separate paths, Garhett Morgan's journey stands as a testament to the transformative power of theological learning.

From his roots in secular education to his current role as a shepherd of two churches in Michigan, Morgan's narrative resonates with seekers of spiritual depth and practical ministry. 

Currently serving as pastor of the Sparta and Three Angels Fellowship Adventist Churches, Morgan reflects on his initial steps into ministry without the theological foundation he craved. “I got thrown into ministry without any theological training,” he recalls. This void led him to feel stuck, yearning for a deeper understanding of Scripture and pastoral practice. 

Morgan’s journey took a significant turn when he was introduced to the Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry program offered by the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University. “I didn't want to leave ministry. I wanted something practical. I wanted to learn more,” he explains. Encouraged by glowing reviews from acquaintances, he embarked on an educational odyssey, driven by a thirst for spiritual enrichment and practical ministry tools. 

His experience within the program has been nothing short of a divine blessing. Morgan highlights the program’s unique approach, which not only delves into the theoretical aspects of Scripture and pastoral care but also provides practical training. “It gives you hands-on practical understanding of how to work with people, how to apply our doctrines in a very appealing and practical way,” he shares. 

One of the program’s pivotal moments for Morgan came during his study of the sanctuary with New Testament professor Felix Cortez. Despite entering the course with a decent grasp of the subject, Morgan was astonished by the depth of insight offered. “There’s so much that I don’t know about the sanctuary when it comes to the book of Hebrews and in Revelation,” he admits. 

What Morgan found most profound was the program’s ability to bridge the gap between theological concepts and their practical implications for daily Christian living. “Showing my church members how this motif of the sanctuary throughout Scripture is simply God pleading for us to have a relationship with Him,” he emphasizes. 

Moreover, he appreciates the academic integrity fostered within the program, where questions are welcomed, and honesty prevails. “Just the academic integrity that this class provided is also an encouragement to me as a local pastor,” he reflects. 

As Morgan expresses his gratitude to those who support the program financially and operationally, he also shares his hope that this educational initiative will hasten the second coming of Jesus, echoing the sentiment of many who seek spiritual renewal and deeper understanding.  

His journey exemplifies the transformative power of theological education, where theory meets practice, and spiritual growth flourishes. Through his testimony, he inspires others to embark on a similar quest for enlightenment, enriching both their ministries and personal faith journeys. To learn more about the MAPM program, visit

Stanton Witherspoon has worked as pastor, lecturer and communication director in his home country of Liberia, and now serves as a volunteer in the Lake Union Communication department.