Vocation at Ambrose Seminary
When Amit Nade came to Ambrose Seminary he was facing the unique challenges that come with being an international student. “I felt a lot of pressure to survive in Canada,” he recalls. “I needed to study diligently, earn money for my tuition and support my family back home.”
But because he was supported by his classmates and professors Amit not only overcame these challenges but also began to thrive as a Master of Divinity student. “The incredible support I received in this community has taught me that God is with me,” he says, adding that he has come away from this experience with the conviction that he “should engage in the lives of others in the same way.”
God has called me to be a bridge between different cultures, churches and even different countries. I dream of one day connecting ministries in Canada to ministries in India.
Today, Amit serves some of Calgary's most vulnerable people as a Housing Case Worker at The Mustard Seed Calgary and an Associate Pastor at Yeshu Mandali. Both of these jobs fuel his passion for connecting cultures and communities.
Through Ambrose Seminary's emphasis on discerning vocation–our belief that the purpose of a theological education is to open our hearts and minds to the ways that God is calling us to lead and serve–Amit grew to understand and embrace God’s call on his life: “to be a bridge wherever I go.”
An open door
Amit's career began at a Nazarene church in Mumbai, India, where he served in administration and youth ministry. He knew he could benefit from more training and a deeper understanding of his calling, so when he was approached by Ambrose recruiters at an international youth conference he was eager to learn more. Ambrose Seminary sounded like a good fit, and he sought the advice of leaders and colleagues in his church. One by one they encouraged him to prepare for his next step at Ambrose.
“Coming to Ambrose was completely a God-led decision,” he recalls as he recounts the smoothness of his application to live in Canada and the support he experienced—even across several oceans—from university staff. “God opened this door for me.”
Discovering God’s provision
Dealing with the demands of graduate studies and the financial pressures that come with living as an international student felt like a rollercoaster at times. But through all of the challenges Amit realized that God was shaping him.
"I am really thankful to the Lord for this journey," he says. "Looking back, I can see that through the ups and downs he never left me. He was with me in person through spirit, and he was with me through my friends, through my professors and through the finance office: they stepped in many times and supported me with my scholarships."
In particular, staff and faculty encouraged Amit to apply for the Finish Free scholarship that fully funded his final year of study.
Belonging to a supportive community
As he looks back on his time at Ambrose, Amit reflects on how it was the relationships he built that made this experience life-changing. "I thank God for giving me an opportunity to be a part of this amazing Christian community," he says. "Being a student here is great. There is unity in diversity."
In the classroom Amit felt strengthened "academically and practically," but he adds that it's the way that fellowship continues beyond the classroom through "chapel services, seminary luncheons, retreats, and ongoing student-teacher interactions" that truly makes Ambrose a place of belonging.
Living his calling today
Amit graduated in the Spring of 2016 and since then he's been working in the social services sector and pastoring at a local church. "As a Housing Case Worker at The Mustard Seed, I help people from the street find homes," he explains. "I work with them for two years after they move in, supporting and connecting them with different resources in the community, and helping them grow holistically."
And as he serves others, Amit grows as well. "This job is excellent. It shapes me, guides me, and helps me engage in the community. I love teamwork and the Mustard Seed is a great Christian organization where I'm part of a good team."
Amit is also learning a lot in his pastoral role. "The church where I pastor, Yeshu Mandali (Hindi for Jesus’s People) is a multicultural congregation," he explains. "Because part of our service is translated in Hindi, we get to serve many newcomers to Canada. I’m very at home in this setting and it's great to be involved in ministry that inspires me and aligns with my gifts."
A broader perspective
Amit notes that he has a passion to continue ministering among South Asians, but studying at Ambrose Seminary has also broadened his perspective and equipped him with new skills for ministry. “After studying at Ambrose I can serve confidently in any group of people," he says, "and I also see the importance of partnering with organizations outside of my own congregation to help the church be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world.”