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Kastens to lead Milligan’s new ministry leadership program

Ron Kastens
Ron Kastens
Ron Kastens

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (May 21, 2018) — Milligan College alum Dr. Ronald Kastens (’89) has been selected to lead the college’s new undergraduate ministry leadership program, launching in Fall 2018 and designed to prepare a new generation of experienced leaders to serve the church.

With nearly 30 years of ministry experience serving in various leadership roles, Kastens will oversee the development of a comprehensive ministerial formation experience at Milligan, building upon the college’s existing academic strengths in Bible and ministry but adding new focus on practical ministry experience. He will begin his new role on August 1.

Students in the program will take classes from church leaders from around the country, visit innovative ministries in the field, and be mentored by current church practitioners over the course of their entire college experience.

The program will help students focus on specific interests and calling in one of several majors, including church leadership, student ministry, children’s ministry, worship leadership and intercultural studies (missions).

“We are pleased to have someone with such passion and experience lead Milligan’s new ministry leadership program,” said Milligan President Dr. Bill Greer. “Not only does Ron have a deep knowledge of the Bible, a heart for service and a passion for working with students, he also brings a wealth of real-world experience working in all facets of ministry.”

After graduating from Milligan in 1989 with a degree in Bible, Kastens went on to earn a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry in pastoral theology from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts.

Following 12 years as associate pastor at Northeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, Kastens became lead pastor of Crossway Christian Church in Nashua, New Hampshire, in 2001, where he oversaw the congregation’s growth from 300 to 850, as well as the physical expansion of the church and addition of two additional campus locations. Kastens also led the church’s global outreach program, launching three ongoing partnerships. He currently serves on the board of Christian Missionary Fellowship, a global mission organization.

He and his wife, Stacey, also a Milligan alum, have three children, Brennan, Dallas and Marlee.

“I have a passion for mentoring young men and women for leadership in the church,” said Kastens. “Within the context of a nationally-recognized Christian liberal arts education, the Ministry Leadership Program will be a powerful way to develop the next generations of leaders. Education plus experience equals immediate and long-lasting impact for men and women in church leadership.”

Milligan’s ministry leadership program was made possible through a generous $1 million gift from First Christian Church in Johnson City, Tennessee, along with other supporting churches, including Mountain Christian Church, Joppa, Maryland; Compass Christian Church, Chandler, Arizona; Academy Christian Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Lifebridge Christian Church, Longmont, Colorado. It also is supported by advisors from various churches, including Ethan Magness, senior minister at First Christian; Ben Cachiaras, senior pastor, Mountain Christian Church, Baltimore, Maryland; Rick Rusaw, senior minister, LifeBridge Christian Church, Longmont, Colorado; Brian Jobe, senior pastor, Compass Christian Church, Chandler, Arizona; and Tom Jones, executive director at Stadia, a church planting organization.

Students interested in enrolling in the ministry leadership program for Fall 2018 may be eligible for additional financial aid.

In addition, students can save both time and money in the ministry leadership program by completing both their bachelor’s and Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan in only six years.

Learn more at, or call 423.461.8730.

Posted by Chandrea Shell on May 21, 2018.