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This is one in a series of profiles of 2019 graduates of ETS. Commencement ceremonies for the 2019 ETS graduating class is at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 1 in the sanctuary.

Paul Langford is an ordained American Baptist Pastor serving Bethel Baptist Church in Southgate, Mich. He has an interesting background, including teaching theater and playwriting at the college level and being a newspaper theater critic in California. He is married and has two children.

ETS: What degree will you be receiving?

Langford: Doctor of Ministry


ETS: What do you do now for work?

Langford: Pastor, Bethel Baptist Church


ETS: What are your goals/plans after graduation?

Langford: Continue working at Bethel. I am hoping to use the degree for my denomination to help pastors in their local congregations.


ETS: Why did you choose ETS?

Langford: (Former ETS President) Dave Swink was my youth pastor when I was in junior high school and partly responsible for the road to the pastorate. When I saw his name all over (ETS), I thought it was a sign.


ETS: How did you hear about ETS?

Langford: Through my denomination


ETS: What was the best part of your experience at ETS?

Langford: The cohort groups, the teams put together to walk the journey through the Dmin program. The other students who enter into the program with you, and walk through the program to end with you. The members of our cohort supported and encouraged one another. Without them, I would not have had the stamina to finish the degree. They have become some of my closest friends.


ETS: And the worst?

Langford: Oh please, no worst.


ETS: What would you tell anyone who asks, “Why go to seminary?”

Langford: Seminary stretches a person intellectually, spiritually and in every other way. God will open new doors for anyone who tries.