19 Jun Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 1999 Scholar Benjer McVeigh
Hometown: Dillon, CO (still hails from Ames, IA, from where he moved to elementary school in Highlands Ranch, CO)
College/Degree: Colorado College, Mathematics Major; Denver Seminary, Master of Divinity
Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? After training to be a math teacher, I got involved in youth ministry. Now, I am helping start new nondenominational churches near Bountiful, Utah. I was a pastor in the church in Ogden, Utah that started this new church. Utah is growing. My favorite parts of this work are the organizational development and strategy for expansion. I love people and have a pastoral heart. It is sacred to be with people in their highest highs and lowest lows. In my area there is no local theological education, so we raise up people within the church who have a call to serve.
What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? On one side of the coin, the scholarship was a gift for me and my family. My sister, brother and I were raised in a single parent household where attending a private college, like Colorado College where we all ended up, was not affordable. All three of us were Boettcher Scholars at CC. We were fortunate to receive a gift of great value from the Boettcher Foundation. On the other side of the coin, I am paying the gift forward. Even though I live outside of Colorado, I keep the commitment to service and apply what I have been given to find strategic ways to invest in the lives of people for the good of the community. This means making intentional choices and keeping an open hand for others. In the COVID crisis that is coming to Davis County, I will be reaching out to residents strategically for the good of the community.
Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations, or groups outside of work. Since 2014, my wife Jennifer and I have been foster parents. I have a growing family with three daughters (3rd, 5th, 6th grades). In warm weather, I am the softball coach for my oldest daughter. We may or may not get a season this year. For us, homeschooling is a new thing. It is hard to balance work and teaching. We are looking to buy a house with our growing family. Also, we have a small group of Boettcher Scholar Alumni in Utah that I’m happy to be organizing.
What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for current graduates entering your career field?
“It takes five years to recover from seminary.”
You’ll learn more than you ever learned in school after you graduate. Love learning as a discipline. Succeed for the sake of others. Apply learning to more learning.
If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? Corrie Ten Boom: She was a Dutch woman who bravely assisted Jews escaping the Nazi regime and showed incredible courage and forgiveness to lead, serve, forgive and battle without murdering everyone in her path. Rich Mullins: He was a Christian musician who at first struggled with making money. He chose poverty by setting up his estate worth millions of dollars (from his tours and albums) to go to charity while he was paid the average wage of single person. He lived in New Mexico among Native Americans. He was killed in a car accident.