Seven Questions with Kristen Ferguson – California Southern Baptist Convention
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7 Questions with Kristen Ferguson

Kristen Ferguson
Associate Dean of Educational Effectiveness, Director of Online Education, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at Gateway Seminary
Kristen Ferguson is one of those Southern Baptist leaders where you don’t even realize you have been in her orbit of influence. Most recently, many may remember her on the Convention stage in New Orleans where, as the vice chair of the resolutions committee, she presented the resolution on Artificial Intelligence. In California, Kristen serves in 3 different capacities at our own Gateway Seminary. She is the Associate Dean of Educational Effectiveness, the Director of Online Education, and she teaches as an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership. Kristen is also a pastor’s wife as her husband is the lead pastor at Eleventh Street Baptist Church in Upland… And she somehow manages all of these roles while “mommy-ing” 2 young children – a 7-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl.

What book are you currently reading?

I’m reading “The Age of AI: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity,” by Jason Thacker. At Gateway we are trying to understand A.I. to see how it can be implemented ethically and to help students understand it ethically. I’m also reading through “Heart Deep Teaching,” (Gary C. Newton) because I’m about to start teaching in the fall. Oh! And on Audible, I just started listening to “Help! I’m Married to My Pastor!” by Jani Ortlund.

What biblical character (other than Jesus) would you want to meet, and why?

Mary – Jesus’ mom, because she was given an extraordinary responsibility and opportunity to be Jesus’ mom, and she was also one of His disciples…She followed Him and was part of his ministry. She was a woman in ministry who had authority over him as a child. Scripture says she treasured it all up in her heart, but we don’t get to hear a lot of it through the narrative…We see tidbits of her faithfulness in Christ, but I’d love to sit down and pick her brain about being a follower and mother while serving Jesus faithfully.

Toilet paper, under or over?

I’m so distracted when I put the toilet paper on the roll, because usually I’m helping some little person finish “that situation,” so I couldn’t care less, just as long as it gets on there. If I was in my right mind enough, I would want it over but I’m mommy-ing so… just get it on there.

What is your favorite bible verse or what is a bible verse you are currently meditating over?

My favorite verse is Psalm 3:3. It says, God is my shield and my glory and lifter of my head. I love the phrase, “lifter of my head.” …It’s very significant and visual for me. Whenever I feel down or discouraged, I can see my Father putting his hand under my chin and saying ‘look up to Me and I will get you through this.’

Do you have a favorite leadership/personality type assessment? (Ex. Myer Briggs, StrengthsFinder, etc…) If so, what do the results tell us about you?

I do like Gallup’s StrengthsFinder... We use several assessments in our classes to better understand ourselves. StrengthsFinder is extremely accurate and usually a real discovery for people. They didn’t realize that they had this strength. Once they see it, they see it everywhere. They realize ‘it’s critical to who I am.’

What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

I would tell my younger self to focus a lot of attention on redeeming your thoughts for Christ and letting the truth of scripture change your thoughts. I wasn’t always in the habit of thinking-about-what-I-think-about. So, I could be believing untrue things s about my worth, or my value, or my ministry, or what God was doing… but I needed to discipline my mind. When I started doing that, it changed who I am and how I serve.

When you think through all the names of Christ, what name resonates with you right now, and why?

God. 2 Corinthians is my favorite book of the Bible and in chapter 1 it says, “Father of mercies and God of all comfort.” I really love that phrase “God of all comfort.” – What follows that is how much suffering ministers of the gospel have gone through. It’s very foundational. As we suffer for ministry or for the name of Christ… Don’t give up. We have a Father who is full of mercy and a God who provides all comfort, and it gets us through the harder times of ministry.

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