Meet the Graduates:
More than 700 students complete their degrees at Fuller this year, with plans that will take them into a range of ministries and vocations. This series highlights just a few of these graduates.
“Our church’s vision is simple—we want to serve God’s purpose in this generation,” explains Craig Sweeney, who will receive his Master of Arts in Christian Leadership this summer from Fuller Northern California. “We serve that purpose in our city and our world each time we share the hope of Jesus Christ with others.”
Sweeney, who has been in pastoral ministry for years, embarked on a new adventure this spring: planting a church. The large Bayside Church of Granite Bay has established many new churches throughout California’s Sacramento area—and its newest is Bayside Church of Citrus Heights. Citrus Heights began meetings last November, and by March, Sweeney had responded to God’s call to be its senior pastor.
One of the most energizing aspects of the new church for Sweeney is its multifaceted diversity. “We have a wide range of people in our church: Some are new to faith and fresh from a life on drugs, while others are dear saints offering incredible stability and maturity to a new community of faith,” he shares. “We have younger and older, people with means and others without much. We are striving to be a multiethnic church that welcomes anyone who will come through our doors.”
“It is by God’s grace that I am able to be part of such an incredible group of people,” he affirms. “My wife, our two children and I are having the time of our lives!”
Sweeney says his Fuller experience provided him with what he needed to take on this new role. “My time at Fuller has fulfilled me,” he says. “I am not a different person as much as I am more able to be the person God created me to be. For me, Fuller has been about discipleship: I will forever be grateful for every teacher I have had—they have literally been mentors to me.”
“Because I could not have moved to Pasadena to earn my MACL, Fuller’s campus in Sacramento made all of this achievable,” adds Sweeney. “I leave Fuller well equipped to join God in his work for my city.”
Learn more about Fuller’s MA in Christian Leadership program.
Read more stories about Fuller’s 2009 graduates.