My name is Dr. Dena Michele Rosko, and I reside in Western Washington, the USA, with my family. God has called me to ecuminister. So I am studying ministry training at the Christian Leaders Institute (Learn more about online Bible classes, Click Here).
My Educational Journey
I received a Ph.D. in Organizational Systems, where I researched the story of the compassionate community of a local faith-based cross-sector social partnership. This ecuministry provides human and social services to our region through collaborating with local churches and government agencies. Previously, I researched my story of end-of-life caregiving with my maternal grandmother, a matriarch of faith in our family, for my MA in Communication and Organizational Leadership Studies. Before that, I received a BA in English/Creative Writing and Communications/Intercultural Mass Media Studies. I wrote and presented my senior thesis about Julian of Norwich, a medieval woman writer, an anchoress in the Catholic church. I showed how her writing style allowed her agency and through the church to help others. These together gave her authority not often granted to women.
Before all this, I spent one year at a Bible College. There, God invited me into prayer and developed my relationship with Him as a young person away from home. However, my grades stunk, and I didn’t feel that I fit in the rules until I made some older friends and served at a local faith-based nursing home. Shortly after that first year, I dated who would become my husband in a long courtship. I often missed the spark of that year and had unfinished business to complete my ministry training.
A Heart for the Lord to Minister
Both research projects share a heart for the Lord to minister to people across traditional group boundaries, including people who might feel ostracized. I share those stories with writing and photography. I knew what it felt like to be excluded. In high school, I enjoyed reaching out to students and staff whom others had counted out. I learned a heart for this from my childhood best friend, who I met in middle school. She was a new student, and I invited her to sit with me. We were best friends until she moved away and maintained our friendship for 20 years, writing letters. Around that time, I also began photography with a four-series flash pink camera from my aunt and write stories and journal entries. I was 12 then. Looking back, I can see God’s hand shaping my spiritual dream, hands, and heart.
As an adult, in-between the degree programs, I worked briefly as a technical writer, a counselor at a church day camp, started a communication consultancy, and provided caregiving for my family. I also ran a photography business as a freelance entrepreneur and fulfilled assignments with a local magazine and regional business newspaper. I worked as a writing tutor for international students and English Language Learners (ELL) for a community college and community relations for a university. These experiences contributed to my spiritual dream, especially to serve God’s church at the local level.
My Spiritual Journey
God saved me at six years old through the pulpit ministry of John 3:16. My dad prayed the “Romans Road” with me at home after church. I felt called by God to preach and teach since I was three. My mom says as a baby. I challenged her to get her to walk right with the Lord. My grandmother attended a Bible school and co-chartered the church of my childhood. I learned early on the importance of a gospel heritage.
However, this walk also came with healing from lengthy attachment abuse and trauma from multiple individuals. For years, I prayed to God to save my life, let me be a blessing, and restore my spark. However, I lacked clarity on what I lost. 1 John 4:18-19 and 2 Timothy 4:14-16 guided me.
Recently, I learned that my childhood best friend died by suicide on Holy Saturday, 2019. Heartbroken, I wondered how I could have better ministered to her. Now her mom and I encourage each other. God is reminding me that the need to minister to others could save a life, ultimately his work and our responsibility. God restored the spark. That spark was God’s call and anointing on my life to encourage others but to always credit God and take time to explain the gospel. It’s not for me to glorify myself but share how God walks with us by welcoming others to his spiritual family. “God sets the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6).
My Spiritual Dream
With my call to ecuminister, my spiritual dream is to serve as an ordained Ecuminister at a co-housing retreat center. There I will facilitate heritage circles for caregivers and dialogue retreats for churches to better bridge the divides of our times.
My dream is to direct a writing center and start an ecuministry center for church partnerships as a bi-vocational minister. I also plan to publish nine books I’ve written about heritage care, formation, and theology. Also, I desire to teach what I’ve learned in online classes.
Finally, as a mother, I hope to instill the love of God in my son. I want to be a good example and co-write children’s books.
Called to Ecuminister and Ministry Training at CLI
I’m grateful for the local network, mentors, and loved ones supporting me. I’m grateful for the high-quality biblical and ministry training at Christian Leaders Institute. CLI offers tuition-funded programs in a flexible format for working parents. I’ve invested in higher education for years, and I’m relieved at the opportunity not to shoulder the debt.
Additionally, this model removes barriers and dismantles the elitism of so many expensive programs, however of value they may be. Time is of the essence. We’ve much work to do together until the kingdom comes. That work rests in God’s love while we yield to his call. “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt. 22:14). I’m grateful for the love of the triune God who saved my life through Jesus and the spark of the Holy Spirit. I thank God that he called me to ecuminister!
I’ve cherished the family-style church of my childhood. I feel called as an Ecuminister of a “We Story” for the gospel with that disposition. Will you pray to God to finish his good work in our callings at CLI?