Alumnus pursues calling in ministry, draws insight from lessons learned at BCS

Katie Meredith

For Nathan Parsons, ’14, BCS had a profound impact on his life. Through peers who sharpened his faith and teachers that challenged him academically, the transformational experience he had at BCS prepared him for God’s call on his life.

Around 2000, the Parsons family moved to Washington from Illinois, and they made friends that told them about Mack Elementary. Starting school in kindergarten, Parsons has many fond memories of Mack, including recess with his younger brother Dylan, ’16. He has two more brothers, Brandon, ’18, and Justin, ’21, who also went to school at Mack and graduated from BCS.

After transitioning to the Clyde Hill campus, the Parsons brothers spent many hours together in the carpool lane on I-405, commuting daily from Woodinville to Clyde Hill. Over the years they bonded, not just in the car, but also by playing sports together for BCS.

In 2011, Parsons got to play on the first BCS football team as a sophomore. A year later, his brother Dylan joined the team and played safety. Parsons says, “The safety lines up right behind the linebacker. He had my back, both on and off the field.” For his senior year, he remembers being coached by Todd Green and the league character award. In the spring, Parsons played for the BCS varsity soccer team, once again with Dylan.

Alumnus pursues calling in ministry, draws insight from lessons learned at BCS

Nathan #72 and Dylan #15, sharing the field playing BCS football.

As a student at BCS, Parsons’ favorite classes were history and English. In AP U.S. History, he discovered his passion for history and would go on to study it in college. As an 8th grader, he recalls learning to write a strong thesis, a skill he would refine throughout his high school years. In English with Ms. Postma, Parsons was challenged to keep growing as a writer. “I showed up to AP Literature class my senior year thinking, ‘I’m a pretty good writer,’ but Ms. Postma really pushed me – in her very loving, Kim Postma way – I benefitted profoundly from her investment in me.”

Looking back on his BCS years, Parsons shared one of the biggest lessons he learned: “Who your friends are matters, because your friends, whether you know it or not, will have a profound influence on you.” Through relationships with peers at BCS, he can see how his faith was sharpened and strengthened in conversations with others. Talking with friends and teachers at BCS played an important role in strengthening his faith.

After graduating from BCS, Parsons attended The Master’s University in northern Los Angeles where he graduated with a B.A. in History. He intended to become a history teacher, but life experiences and internships led him down a different path. After serving with a missionary team in Albania and at a church in California, Parsons’ heart for serving the local church began to grow. As a college junior, he started thinking about vocational ministry and applying to seminary.

This spring, Parsons graduated with his master’s in divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) in Louisville. While studying there, his teachers suggested that he pursue a Ph.D. Parsons will begin his Ph.D. program, focusing on church history, at SBTS in fall 2021.

As he continues his ministry studies, Parsons attributes his success in college to foundations that were laid at BCS. He says, “I appreciate BCS for helping me to communicate and become a great writer, especially now because I’m entering a Ph.D. program in which I will be doing a lot of reading and writing. If I didn’t have that foundation in my reading, writing, and comprehension, I don’t know where I would be.”

After completing his Ph.D., Parsons plans to become a pastor. His hope for the future can be traced back to his early years at BCS, where he learned that loving people well makes a difference.

“One lesson from BCS I apply to my life today is that people learn better and hear you better when they know that you love them. As a pastor, that person in the pew is going to respond to what I am saying from the pulpit better if they know that I love them. I saw this lived out among the faculty and staff at BCS, which was incredibly valuable for me as a young person.”

In 2017, Parsons met his wife Maya while they were both serving in student government at Master’s. The couple married in 2018 and moved to Louisville, KY. Maya is an Assistant Director of Events for SBTS and is completing a master’s in Theological Studies.