When MDiv student Nick La Casella was looking for an institution where he could find the training he needed to fulfill his call as a military chaplain, it was Fuller’s faculty that drew him to the seminary. “They represent the highest level of theological education from which a prospective chaplain can learn,” he explains, adding that their academic diversity paired with a “dedication to real world scenarios” enrich his learning. Sitting under distinguished theology professors, La Casella is growing in his understanding of the myriad ways people respond to God.
Looking forward to his vocation as a chaplain, he says, “I am called to serve those who serve,” and feels honored to be part of the longstanding tradition of military chaplaincy. As he envisions his future ministry, La Casella desires his service as a chaplain to the military to be marked by respect, dignity, and care.
While he holds to traditional values of the vocation, La Casella is finding Fuller to be a place where he can express these values in a different way. Motivated by an interest in media, film, music, and art, he is taking classes through the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts. “I am learning to use art to help military personnel cope with the grief and also the joy associated with the service,” says La Casella. “I want to use art and media in a way that helps them see the message of the gospel and how God can change their lives.”
Although he only recently started his program at Fuller, La Casella is excited about the way he is already being equipped and encourages others who are considering the chaplaincy program. “You can take courses from counseling and grief studies to systematic theology, from interfaith dialogue to biblical studies,” he says. “And you will receive help and support from everyone here at Fuller.”