On July 15, 2021, Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School welcomed a new Director of the Doctor of Ministry program. Dr. Robert Reyes brings extensive university and seminary experience to the position.
According to Dr. Kevin Gushiken, Director of LBC | Capital’s Ph.D. in Leadership program, the prayerful search for a new D.Min. Director included dozens of applicants from around the world. “It truly was a global search,” Gushiken said. “(Dr. Reyes) will bring tremendous leadership to the program. It became very clear throughout the search process that he was the right person to lead the D.Min. moving forward.”
Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Reyes previously served at Messiah University in nearby Mechanicsburg as Professor of Human Development and Family Science, as well as the Research Director for the Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning and Professor of Sociology at Goshen College in Indiana. His Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Studies and Master of Divinity in Marriage and Family comes from Fuller Seminary, and he is also a Certified Family Life Educator and Clinical Fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. While at Fuller, Reyes was also part of the Navy Chaplain Candidate Program and volunteered as an assistant pastor for a Salvadorian group in Burbank, California.
Reyes’ research interests include the study of acculturative stress and coping among Latino families and the study of racial reconciliation, particularly the development of effective leadership strategies in the growth of urban multicultural/multiracial churches.
His wife, Audrey, is a Registered Dietitian and works in Enola, Pennsylvania. They have three children, and Reyes enjoys swimming, scuba diving, listening to audiobooks and traveling with his family. Read more below about the path that led Dr. Reyes to LBC | Capital.
LBC | CAPITAL: What is your vision for the D.Min. program and how did the Lord lead you to LBC | Capital?
ROBERT REYES: I envision the Doctor of Ministry program as an academic program designed to address the specialized needs of pastors and senior Christian leaders. I hope that the D.Min. program can capitalize on the unique position that it finds itself by serving local leaders. This position provides a unique opportunity to develop a dynamic academic program that supports the needs of urban and multicultural congregations. In doing so, the Doctor of Ministry program will have the opportunity to equip leaders to be agents of reconciliation in the U.S. and around the world.
As I reflect on my journey to LBC | Capital, I think that it all began with the prompting of God to be more actively involved in administration and the development of academic programs in Christian higher education. This desire was also coupled with the desire to address issues of cultural diversity and foster unity and inclusion in the body of Christ. Serving in a multicultural, urban church in Harrisburg for the past 20 years has also provided me the opportunity to see the benefit of pursuing this goal. Ultimately, serving as director of the Doctor of Ministry program represents a great opportunity to equip current and future leaders with skills needed to advance the ministry of reconciliation in the U.S. and around the world.
LBC: Why is biblically integrated graduate education important to those in ministry, leadership and other professions?
RR: A biblically integrated graduate education is important because it affirms the importance of Scripture. Adherence to the truth of Scripture is central in making sure that our work in building Christ’s kingdom is founded on a sound foundation. Being able to competently interpret the biblical text represents an indispensable component in the formation of our students as they study and respond to the complex social and cultural challenges of our time.
LBC: What impact do you see LBC | Capital graduates having in today’s world?
RR: Many of our students are coming to Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School while serving in meaningful and dynamic ministries both in the United States and around the world. My hope is that through our program, Christian leaders will sharpen their theological and applied leadership skills to advance the work of the kingdom of God, and that this work will reach not only individuals and families who enjoy economic security but those who live in the margins and are in need of God’s most basic care.
LBC: How have your own graduate studies shaped your worldview and personal/professional growth?
RR: At Fuller Seminary, I did my studies in the Graduate School of Psychology where I focused on the area of Marital and Family Science. Through the years, I have been able to respond to the growing debate regarding the definition and role of the family in our society, in particular, the challenges associated with balancing work and family life. Obtaining a strong theological and applied education in the area of family science has given me the opportunity to respond in meaningful ways to the many social and relational problems that families face today.
LBC: If you went back to school, which degree would you earn next? Is there an academic area you have not studied that fascinates you?
RR: One of the areas that I really enjoyed in teaching undergraduate students over the years has been the opportunity to work with students in conducting community-based research projects. In reflecting on this experience, I have realized that this type of pedagogy of “field-based” instruction is something that I really enjoy and is often used as the foundation of many courses in social work. As a result, I can imagine developing further my research and program evaluation skills by pursuing further studies in the field of social work.