Recent Truett Alumni are Ministering Across the Nation... and Around the World

July 15, 2021
Where are they now? Recent Alumni Feature

Where are they now? 2020 graduates of Truett Seminary are engaged in gospel ministry across the nation, and around the world. These six recent alumni share with us a glimpse into what they enjoy about their work and how Truett helped to equip them for it.

Zach Winterrowd
Zach Winterrowd
Follow-up Care Coordinator, City Relief
Based in Elizabeth, NJ, and serving New York City

"I love having the opportunity to enter into deep relationship with those who are suffering from homelessness in NYC. Being able to listen to stories, press into despair, connect to tangible resources, and guide new friends in the way of Christ been a life-changing experience.

"One of the most important lessons I learned at Truett that I apply regularly in my position is how to listen contextually. Practicing the sacred disciplines of nuance and radical compassion are daily requirements for my position."

Sarah Ellzey
Sarah Ellzey
Pastor, First United Methodist Trumann, AR, and Lepanto United Methodist Church
Trumann and Lepanto, AR

"I love pastoring in smaller churches because I have the opportunity to be personally connected to each person in my congregation. This is my first pastorate, and my congregations are incredibly gracious and supportive as I stretch and experiment with new things.

"The most important thing I experienced at Truett was a supportive space to deconstruct and reconstruct my faith, particularly regarding the role of women in the kingdom of God. I never dreamed that God would call me to pastor, but Truett provided a space for me to hear, accept, and find support in my call to ministry."

Syeeda Echols
Syeeda Echols
Director of Multicultural Engagement, Friends University
Wichita, KS

"I love that my job allows me to support students of color, women, international students and all other marginalized communities. I create programs, plan trips, and teach students, faculty, and staff how to develop and maintain an inclusive environment for all from a Christian perspective.

"While at Truett, I was the president of the Truett Black Seminarians Association and the Diversity Recruitment Coordinator—both of these positions taught me how to identify and address the issues students of color, women, and international students face in higher education. Additionally, these roles taught me how to provide spiritual care to leaders, as my peers were becoming or already served in positions as pastors, lawyers, business professionals, social workers, and teachers."

Julianna Marraccino
Julianna Marraccino
Latin America & Caribbean Director, Mariners Church
Irvine, CA

"I like getting to work with the global family of believers. It's incredible to see what God is doing throughout the world, and being a tiny part of the world change on display through the work of His people is inspiring!

"Dr. Stroope's courses set me up better than I could have ever imagined to work with different cultures, contexts, and understandings of what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Respecting and dignifying others as God does and seeing them as fellow brothers/sisters in Christ has offered such a strong foundation for my role."

Tyler Phillips
Tyler Phillips
Pastor, Berryville Baptist Church
Berryville, VA

"It has been encouraging to serve alongside so many faithful and patient people. Every day is a chance to hold theological study in one hand and good conversation with our folks in another, as we seek after what Christ is doing. That is a very rewarding way to pass the time.

"Every class [at Truett] in one way or another drove home the importance of deep, personal formation for doing meaningful ministry. I am a new pastor just starting out, in need of that long perspective. The permission Truett gave me to make patient growth in Christ a priority and a part of my ministry (not an add-on) has been a steady compass in a new role."

Julia Wallace
Julia Wallace
Partner Relations Officer, The Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD)
Beirut, Lebanon

"I love the people I get to work with! I am surrounded by some of the most intelligent, hard working, compassionate people I have ever met. Seeing each of my coworkers lean into their gifts in a corporate setting (whether through social media, fundraising, finance, leadership, etc.) has been an incredible reminder of how diverse God's giftings are within His Body...and how God's giftings aren't just limited to church work!

"Truett taught me that three things are essential for ministry: prayer, listening, and contextualization. As I packed up my life and moved to Lebanon, communing with God in prayer has really sustained me. And as I've jumped more into my work, I've found that intentionally listening to others has been the most meaningful way to connect with others and to prioritize ministry needs. It has also been a humbling, but incredibly rich, experience taking what I learned at Truett and applying it in a cross-cultural context."

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