My name is Caleb Custer, and I am thankful for the online ordination training opportunity at the Christian Leaders Institute (Learn more about Studying the Bible, Click Here). I’m from Ashland, Ohio; however, I’m currently a graduate student in Pensacola, Florida, U.S.A. I attend Pensacola Theological Seminary, where I am working on my Master of Divinity degree and intern at a local church. I graduated from Pensacola Christian College with my bachelor’s degree in Pastoral Ministries in 2019 and plan on graduating with my master’s degree in the spring of 2022. Taking classes from the Christian Leaders Institute is a bit different for me since I’m a seminary student. I have to take the time to watch videos and read the notes between my job and my local classes. Thankfully, CLI has made it easy to take classes in the midst of a busy life.
My Spiritual Journey and Dream
My parents were both first-generation Christians, so I grew up in a home that was vibrant spiritually. We attended a conservative Baptist church and were there whenever the doors opened. My parents were both concerned with our spiritual life and tried to provide the best guidance they could. They put my eight siblings and me through a private Christian school, even though it wasn’t cheap. They invested in us and made sure that each of us knew that we were loved by them and by God. As a result of their efforts, I came to know the Lord at a young age. I started asking questions about salvation before I was five years old and accepted Christ as my Savior on September 5, 2002.
My spiritual dream is to eventually become a senior pastor at a local Baptist church and teach average laypeople to know the Bible as a Bible college student. I strongly believe that the church in America is mostly ignorant when it comes to the Scriptures. We know some Bible stories and some catchy verses, but how much time do we spend digesting the meat of Scripture. My dream is to find a way for the person in the pew to know the Bible forward and backward. I definitely don’t think I’ve arrived at maturity yet, but I want to keep pressing toward the mark.
Online Ordination Training at CLI
Probably the biggest two obstacles I personally face in that journey are laziness and shyness. God has blessed me with a pretty good mind, so I’ve never really had to work that hard in school. That’s been a big help, but it’s also led me to be lazy in my walk with God. I assumed that I know the Bible well enough and don’t need to work hard. The other obstacle is my shyness. I have no problem speaking in public, but I really struggle connecting with people individually. I’m introverted and find it hard to get a good conversation going. I’m going to have to fight both of these obstacles if I want to serve the Lord to my maximum potential. With God’s help and strength, I can overcome.
I started taking classes at the Christian Leaders Institute so that I could perform my sister’s wedding ceremony. She and her fiance asked me to marry them, but to perform the ceremony, I needed to be ordained. I looked at online ordination options and found that most of them were with organizations that I would oppose spiritually. Finally, I found CLI. My beliefs align much more closely with CLI. I am thankful for the opportunity at CLI the generous donations of others have given me.