The Barnabas Pastoral Program launched as we were preparing to develop the COT Newsletter for the Spring of 2021. It was perfect, as it provided us with the opportunity to chat with the Director of Internship & Ministry, Dr. Dwayne Pedroza! Please feel free to explore his responses below!
Tell us about yourself! What are your current interests and hobbies? (i.e. favorite classes, favorite sports teams, book, places you’ve traveled, etc.)
My name is Dwayne Pedroza and I grew up in San Antonio, Texas. I have been married to my wife, Michelle, for 29 years and we have 2 grown children: Lyndsey and Grant who live in the area. After college, I worked in the Corporate world, and owned by own sports nutrition business, before I felt God calling me to surrender to ministry in 2004. I helped start a church in Texas, and then my family and I moved from Dallas to Arizona in 2010, to start a church in Phoenix. I completed my Doctor of Ministry Degree from Liberty University, and in 2013, I began teaching at GCU as an adjunct professor. Now, I am the Director of Internships and Ministry for the Barnabas Pastoral Program.
I have had the opportunity to travel quite a bit. I have been to Europe a few times, St. Martin, most of the United States, but one of my favorite places to visit is Vancouver, Canada. One of the places my wife and I love to go is to Carlsbad, CA to enjoy the beach. I love to play golf! So, when I travel, I am always looking to play golf wherever we land. Besides golf, I have always been a basketball fan. If I am not working, you can find me doing one of three things: hanging out with my wife, playing golf or working out.
What is it like working with students at GCU?
I really enjoy working at GCU because of the students. I have so many great memories over the last 7 years. The students at GCU are fun, engaging and want to learn. Each semester, I learn from the students. It is so encouraging to see the growth in students, not only throughout the semester but throughout their college years.
I like to create a fun and energizing environment in the classroom because I believe that it helps in the learning process, and in getting to know the students better. It means so much to me when I have students who come to me for advice, encouragement or direction. I find this to be one of the most fulfilling things about teaching.
Tell us about your call to work for Grand Canyon University.
GCU has been a blessing for me. God has put all the pieces together from my life experiences, ministry experiences and teaching experiences and brought it all together for this position in the Barnabas Pastoral Program. I have always believed it is important to invest and help future pastors, and now I get to do this full time and it is very rewarding.
Being the Director is a constant reminder to me that God is purposeful in how He equips a person for a specific position. I do not see this position as “work” but just an outpouring of my heart because of the way God’s has wired me, equipped me and taught me. This position has clarified the reasoning behind why I had to go through certain situations (both good and challenging) in life, business, family, marriage and ministry…it is for this time in my life to give to the students in the Barnabas Pastoral Program.
I am excited to see how the Barnabas Pastoral Program will grow and the impact it has on not only the students but also, in churches.
What do you think is important about the theme of the COT Newsletter for the Spring semester of 2021 (Moving Forward)?
I really like the theme of the newsletter, Moving Forward. My tagline at the end of every communication I send out is “Keep taking the next step.” I am a big believer in perseverance and not giving up. This perspective comes by continually “Moving Forward” and “Taking the next step” whether it is spiritually, physically, emotionally or relationally.
We should not focus on the past, because there is nothing “new” there, but there is something “new” for us as we move forward. It is when we are “moving forward” we discover, learn, understand and grow. The “Moving Forward” theme is a reminder to never stop and to continue to take the next step in life.
If you could give one piece of advice to a student, what would it be, and why?
I tell students to be intentional about moving towards healthiness spiritually, relationally, emotionally and physically. I have seen to many people not deal with these areas of their life. It is unhealthy, and they live in a cycle of frustration. We are imperfect people, who do imperfect things and have imperfections. This means we are all in the same boat but the ones who get out of this boat are the ones who deal with the areas in life that trip them up and move towards healthiness. We cannot get caught up in guilt, shame, pain, hurt because then we cannot move forward in life. We must remember that God loves us “in spite of and regardless of…” so it does not matter what I have to deal with, the truth is “I am loved.”
When we are intentional about dealing with the areas in our heart that have caused us pain then we experience freedom. We experience God’s love and truth in deeper ways that bring healing and peace. Dealing with our issues, is necessary for healthy self-esteem, relationships and view of God. What I tell my students in class is, “It’s ok not to be ok, but it is not ok to stay ok.”
A special “Thank You” to Dr. Dwayne Pedroza for the insight he offered us in this section. Please feel free to comment below and let us know what you think!