Faculty Focus: Michele Pasley
Title: Instructor, College of Theology (Online Full Time Faculty)
Years at GCU: 9
- B.A., Applied Communications – Point Loma Nazarene University
- Master of Arts in Theology with a concentration in Biblical Studies and Theology – Fuller Theological Seminary
What is your most notable accomplishment in your field, and why was it important?
I have particularly enjoyed contributing to the program design for the College of Theology B.A. in Christian Ministry, developing a new spiritual formation lab class for the College of Theology Barnabas program students and writing a chapter of the Christian Worldview textbook.
In 2019, I had the privilege to be the interim pastor at my church during a time of crisis. It was very fulfilling to combine my love for the congregation with my teaching experience, previous ministry experience and theological education to help the congregation successfully navigate a difficult transition.
What are you most passionate about in your field and why?
My passion is spiritual formation – helping people develop Christ-like character. I am particularly passionate about helping theology students and ministry leaders with their formation. Because people minister out of who they are, it is critical that their interior life is formed in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit, so that they are increasingly able to automatically think, love and act as Jesus thinks, loves and acts.
What is a memorable moment you had in class, and what does that reveal about your teaching style?
I remember calling a student who was in law enforcement. He breathlessly answered the phone, patiently allowed me to introduce myself, then said, “I’m in foot pursuit of a suspect. Can I call you back?” I called him back the next day and had two questions: “Did you catch the suspect?” and “Why did you answer the phone in the first place?” He said, “Well, you’re my teacher, of course I will answer the phone. And, yes, I caught the guy!”
One of the most memorable things about teaching adult online students in CWV 101 is repeatedly getting to help people connect or reconnect with God. I have had many students who had left the church and walked away from God because they had picked up inaccurate theology somewhere along the way. Helping them unravel that inaccurate theology and truly discover that God is good is a real joy.
I remember a particular phone call with an adult student who sobbed through the call because she had walked away from God as a teenager and built up resentment, fear and bitterness over the years. As she proceeded through the class and as we talked, she let go of her inaccurate theology and resentment as she encountered God’s love in a powerful way. It was a really beautiful moment, and by the end of the class she was a whole new person marked by freedom and grace rather than bitterness and despair.
What do you like to do for fun in your spare time?
Since I am working on a doctorate, I have very little spare time these days. But when I do, I love to preach in the sermon rotation at my church, and – on the completely opposite end of the spectrum – I love to read murder mysteries and spy novels.
What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know?
After developing a love of spy novels a many years ago, I thought about applying to become a CIA agent. I was disappointed to learn that I was over the age limit!