LAMP Graduate Eric Burket, of Pine Ridge Church in Orlando Florida shares his testimony of how LAMP Seminary has given him a path forward to answer the call of Pastoral Ministry, but also strengthened his relationship with Jesus. We are so grateful to him for sharing his story with us.
Eric speaks of a strong Christian upbringing where he was infused with the gospel from a young age. As he grew he always knew Jesus but it wasn’t until high school, through strong mentors that he was able to adopt his faith as his own. “At this point, my life direction began to be impacted by my desire to serve God.” In college Eric was able to become deeply involved in student ministry leadership at Pine Ridge Church as a volunteer. He pursued a career in IT after college, but began to feel called to work in local church ministry.
In 2017 Eric began working as a worship leader and pastor’s assistant at Pine Ridge Church. Together with his wife, Sadie, Eric decided to pursue pastoral ministry by the end of his first year working at Pine Ridge. Unsure of the path ahead or how their future might look, Eric and Sadie began to pray and seek support from the elders of their church. After being encouraged and led to move forward with next steps, he learned about LAMP Seminary through the Central Florida Presbytery. By March 2018 Eric began to study at LAMP Seminary while working at Pine Ridge Church. “God was so gracious to align such an ideal set of circumstances where I could dedicate time to study and gain experience in various kinds of local church ministries along the way. My heart for serving at Pine Ridge and love for the church family continued to grow during my studies.”
During his time as a student at LAMP Seminary Eric learned how to study and apply God’s word to his life, as well as the context of teaching and preaching “I feel confident now teaching from the bible and communicating a Christian worldview based on the Scriptures and a reformed and covenantal perspective.” Eric also shared his growth to greater appreciation of the local church and the family life of the church through integrating his seminary study within that area. “Most importantly, LAMP has helped draw me into a closer relationship with Jesus, and that is the most valuable aspect of my time in the program.”
Eric has found that LAMP has been ideal for him and his family because of the flexibility with his schedule and low cost tuition. This was something that allowed him to attend Seminary without putting financial stress on his family. He found particular value in the close involvement of his pastor in his study. “He was able to give one on one attention to many questions and be a key part of my development.”
As for the future, Eric is currently studying for his ordination examination since graduating with his M’Div in December 2021. Together with his family, Eric is both eager and hopeful to accept a call as an associate pastor at Pine Ridge.