Alumni Council Spotlight: Dr. Andrea Baare
How did you come to know the Lord?
My parents built the spiritual foundations. They prayed with us at night when we were small. They also encouraged attending Sunday school at the evangelical congregation in our neighborhood in Germany. I grew up with a strong sense of the Divine Presence in my life. The teaching during confirmation classes in 1975/76 deepened this understanding of an all-powerful God Who directed the path that I chose. I have also been blessed with spiritual mentors throughout my life who shaped me during my inner-life growth and ministry maturing.
How were you called to ministry?
My call into ministry began to take shape during the early eighties. Several pastors in my hometown organized a “Week of Faith” in August 1980 that primarily served to meet Christians from different denominational backgrounds. Members from Afro-Caribbean Pentecostal churches in London, Ipswich, and Birmingham shared their vibrant spirituality and music ministry in our local churches. They had a considerable influence on my inner-life growth, and we became life-long friends. I realized how Christ transcends language barriers and cultural differences. I also discovered the transformational impact of the Holy Spirit and third Person of the Trinity.
When I had completed my basic theological studies at the University of Muenster in 1987, I pursued ministry maturing by enrolling for the TH.M. program at Western Theological Seminary (Holland, Mi.). After my return in 1988, I completed further course work at the University of Bonn and became a member of the American Protestant Church. With an eye on “theological trends” based on cultural needs, I continued my training by following an invitation to consider a Master of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in 1991.
How did you decide to come to Asbury?
My international network from Western and Fuller had a decisive impact on this decision. My business career began after my return to Germany 1995. God was preparing me for an entirely new ministry focus: how to build bridges between the church and the workplace. But I lacked the right skills for including my faith at work meaningfully. God tackled such training gaps by sending along divine contacts. Dr. Christina Accornero, an old Fuller friend, had joined the Asbury Theological Seminary staff in 2004. She made me aware of a tailor-made program for my ministry requirements, the D.Min. for international leaders at the Beeson Center.
What were some of the best parts of your time at Asbury?
Our 2005-Cohort: My formidable, distinguished Christian brothers came from various places around the world. Despite our packed schedule, we managed to build strong ties. In fact, we enjoyed a special reputation because we all got along swimmingly. There was always something to laugh about amidst the completion of our dissertations.
The Beeson Center: Professors, our mentors, and staff made it a “home away from home”. The way the program was organized, improved and adjusted each year and the manner we were taken care of throughout the entire program was outstanding. This made it “comparatively easy” to finish well.
I need not mention that preaching classes with Dr. Ellsworth Kalas, Dr. Dennis Kinlaw, and Dr. David Rambo were a delight. The connection with Wes and Joy Griffin led to translating their handbook into German. My dissertation coach, Dr. Stacy Minger, kept my writing on track with her teaching skills, strategic insights, and her great sense of humor.
The Asbury campus: In light of a career in a very noisy, highly pressured, and at times cold corporate world in Germany, I cherished the quiet, peaceful campus and slower pace of life while concentrating on my dissertation. I had the room, space, and spiritual support that made this program a success.
What has your ministry been like after (or even before) your time at Asbury?
My doctoral degree from Asbury opened a couple of doors. Shortly after my graduation in 2009, I joined the Group Diversity Management at Deutsche Telekom Headquarters in Bonn. Apart from the core areas of gender, generation, ethnicity, the internationalization, one area of attention was religion/spirituality. The latter permitted me to establish “Christians@Telekom” as an official employee network. Such a network is something quite significant in a secular company.
Despite many reorganizational measures and changing job responsibilities (now in Sales, T-Systems Public Sector), our Christian network survived. We have since then enjoyed interesting meetings with pastors from Bonn, para-church organizations, and Christian networks with a faith@work focus: DHL Deutsche Post (former sister company of Deutsche Telekom), the Christian Police Network (CPV), a German Military Chaplain, Christians in Business (CiW). I have also been invited to business network meetings to share the Christians@Telekom ministry.
Via Asbury’s influence, through Dr. Thomas Tumblin, I also built a close connection with the German Methodist congregation in Bonn. They encouraged that I join the ACK (the Working Committee of Christian Churches) in Bonn. I represent the American Protestant Church. The ACK organizes various ecumenical activities in Bonn, together with 15 other member churches. Highlights are our quarterly Memorial Services for homeless people and those without next of kin, the bi-annual Night of Open Churches, annual Creation Services in the Fall, or our annual “Kick off” in unusual locations (picture below, in Bonn’s Arithmeum).
How has staying connected with Asbury assisted you in ministry?
The Alumni Office has been doing a fantastic job keeping in touch and encouraging us in our various global ministry responsibilities. There is a sense of pride and joy when I can reflect Asbury’s impact during services in my preaching and interaction with other ministers.
Tell us anything you would like to share about your family, hobbies, etc.
My great passion has always been the film and theatre world. “Common sense” kept me from entering it. I visit stage productions regularly, greatly favor Shakespeare, and collect quality film productions. I also have a very weak spot for England, where I have traveled frequently since the early eighties. English poetry and literature, as well as good writing in general, remain favorites for my leisure time.
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