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More than a decade ago, Jerry Opiyo graduated from the University of Nairobi (Kenya) with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and manufacturing engineering and materials science. Sensing God’s call to ministry, Opiyo served in a variety of roles from 2010 to 2017, including as a pastor at Mavuno Church in Nairobi and as a church planter in Kigali, Rwanda.

Then burnout set in. After seven years of important but intense and sometimes draining work, Opiyo knew he needed a change.

In 2017, Opiyo moved to Grand Rapids, Mich. with his wife, Cynthia, and his daughter, Imani, to be further equipped for their ministry. Opiyo enrolled in the Master of Divinity (MDiv) program at Calvin Theological Seminary.

After receiving a scholarship package that would support him throughout his years at the seminary, Opiyo knew that he could sustainably study at CTS without having to take on student loans.

“I came running on empty,” Opiyo said. “I came to CTS on the verge of ministry burnout after a grueling seven years of church ministry and church planting.”

For Opiyo, the seminary was more than just a place to grow in knowledge. “CTS became a place of healing and renewal as much as it was a place of theological instruction and doctrinal formation,” he said.

While at the seminary, the Opiyo family formed relationships with fellow seminarians and members of a local church that they had first become connected with during their time in Rwanda. At this church they ministered to small groups and grew deep friendships.

Now Opiyo is again ready to minister in the midst of whatever challenges come his way. He completed his degree at CTS in the spring of 2021 and returned to his home country of Kenya with renewed hope, purpose, and resources to continue in his calling of ministry and church planting.

While he arrived at CTS feeling weary and nearly empty, Opiyo graduated with new confidence, saying, “I left filled to the brim and running over.”

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