By: Dezaray Barr
Logan Patriquin graduated from Southern Wesleyan University in 2012 with B.A. in Religion and from Asbury Theological Seminary in 2016 with an M.A. in Theological Studies.
“I originally enrolled at Southern Wesleyan University as a Biology major,” Patriquin explained. “I had colorful dreams of working in the field of Chondrichthyology—the study of cartilaginous fishes that includes sharks, skates, rays, and chimaeras. I was particularly interested in the engineering and field-testing of shark repellent technologies. As a freshman Biology student at SWU, your first semester includes Biology 101 for majors. This course was taught by one amazing lady name Dr. Susan Rouse. In 2014, Dr. Rouse passed away after a two-year battle with lung cancer, but not before making a lasting impact in the lives of hundreds of students. I walked into Dr. Rouse’s classroom a puffed-up, arrogant young man who didn’t expect a fair or in-depth presentation of Biology from a conservative Christian school. I was wrong. Dr. Rouse was many things, but arrogant or naïve she was not. I owe so much of my faith to this woman. She taught me through her unwavering kindness, sharp whit, and obvious deep devotion to Christ that one can be a Christian without sacrificing the life of the mind. She even took me on as her lab assistant. I remember feeling awestruck by the way she instructed in the fields of biology, physiology of behavior and scientific literacy. I grew closer to God because of her faithful dedication to her discipline. She sparked in me the desire to read and write in the area of science and theology in order to help others encounter the glory of God in the sciences.
“Fortunately for me, as a Biology major I still had to take Basic Christian Doctrine as a core general education course. Thank God for fine arts educational institutions!” Patriquin said. “In this class, I met the wisdom and humility of Dr. Bob Black. Over the course of a semester, I heard the gospel proclaimed plainly and persuasively. Bob Black was able to color all the way to the edges in the beautiful, full-bodied story of the Christian faith. Honestly, I grew up serving God but never really loved God until someone had the presence of mind to help me work through some challenging theological questions. I owe a debt to him for stirring up in me a genuine love for God.”
It was because of this professor that Patriquin discovered two of his passions: helping people reconcile their Christian faith with the sciences and diving deeper into the mysteries of God. These passions led Patriquin to marry his lovely wife, Shaina, serve briefly as an assistant pastor in Belton, SC and eventually to enroll at Asbury Theological Seminary.
“Asbury was a full dose of humility. I always maintained high grades, but I had to work for them– more than having to, I wanted to,” Patriquin said. “I devoured reading texts and relished the opportunity to ask world-class faculty every question I could. I even audited extra classes every semester because I couldn’t fit everything I wanted to learn into my course schedule or budget. One thing I loved about Asbury was how with rare exception, every professor poured into me and every other student.”
When asked if he could illustrate a time when he knew he had chosen the right path in becoming a pastor, Patriquin said, “I reluctantly changed my major and my career ambitions when over the course of two full months God just wouldn’t be quiet. After I encountered the love of God in a real way at SWU, he started working on me. He asked me to care more about helping people see him then helping people stay away from sharks. After much counsel and internal struggle, I gave in to a call to ministry. This call has been confirmed every step of the way: in my first pastoral position, finishing my religious studies and SWU and Asbury, and now in my role as Lead Pastor at Schuyler Avenue Wesleyan Church. I feel God’s presence in my life and know I am walking in his will.”
Patriquin has been at Schuyler in Lafayette, Indiana since June of 2016. “Schuyler Avenue Wesleyan Church is a community that exists for the 116,000,” Patriquin explained. “During the 2010 United States Census, 116,000 people in Tippecanoe County self-identified as “religiously non-affiliated” or were affiliates of obscure religious groups. Obviously this number is constantly changing, but the 116,000 is a symbol; a symbol that reminds us, ‘the harvest is great but the laborers are few’ (Matt 9:32). The 116,000 serves as a call to action. While the gospel message is supposed to go to the ends of the earth, we know that God has uniquely placed us in this community to be a lighthouse in this darkness. Even in this past year, we have seen a shift take place in our church. While we are still learning how to come together in practical ways to accomplish this mission, it has been amazing to witness the mental shift in our congregation. When we are making decisions, planning events, crafting our worship services or group meeting, people are motivated by the 116,000—thinking practically about how even our internal ministries can have an outreach angle. It is organically beginning to take root in our hearts and beginning to branch out into our community.”
Patriquin encourages IWU students to “allow your time spent in college to transform you. Drink deeply of the well of knowledge and wisdom of your professors. Learn as much as you can as you learn to think for yourselves. Above all, ministry students– seek out local church experience during your education.”
Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU, Dezaray runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.