This year’s Friends of Evangelical award winners are…

  • Bernie and Beth Bostwick – Servant Leader Corporate Partner Award
  • Jeff Byerly – Visionary Trustee Award
  • Ephrata Community Church – Catalytic Church Award

A short note from Evangelical’s president, Tony Blair…

We have many corporate partners but few that have been so intimately involved with our mission for so long and in so many different ways that our friends Beth and Bernie Bostwick. Beth is President of Masterpiece Marketing, our external marketing and creative partner for a dozen years, and Bernie is President of Ambassador Advisors, which has skillfully managed our endowment fund for the last 7 years. This year we honor them jointly with the Servant Leader Corporate Partner Award.

We have many sacrificially committed trustees but few that have been involved with the seminary in so many different roles and perspectives as Jeff Byerly. Jeff is an alumnus of our MDiv program and now also a candidate for the Doctor of Theology degree. He is a long-time, beloved pastor and a leader in the Evangelical Congregational Church. Jeff sees what can be, and motivates others to see it and want it as well; therefore, we honor him this year with the Visionary Trustee Award.

We have many congregations that trust us for the training of their leaders, who give us financial support, and who pray for us, but few that have engaged us on the programmatic level like Ephrata Community Church. ECC, whose senior pastor, Kevin Eshleman, is an Evangelical alumnus, has adapted our non-degree ICL certificate program and is offering it, using Evangelical faculty, to teach 90 members of their congregation. For that reason, we honor them this year with the Catalytic Church Award.

And a brief response from each of our recipients…

Bernie Bostwick – Servant Leader Corporate Partner Award (Website: Ambassador Advisors)

Since 2013, Ambassador Advisors has had the privilege of working alongside the board of Evangelical Seminary to manage the assets of the Evangelical Seminary Endowment. During that time, I’ve experienced firsthand, from leadership and staff, the dedication and love for the mission of the Seminary. It has been inspiring for me to see this and, early in our relationship, it sparked a desire to join others who give their time, talent, and treasures to advance the mission of the Seminary. As an Air Force veteran, I came into a relationship with my Lord, Jesus Christ, while serving my country back in the 1980s. Looking back at this most profound experience in my life, I’ve come to the realization that one of the most fertile grounds for bringing the gospel message to young men and women is when they are in uniform and serving their country. For many, this service is done far away from home. In light of this great need, it is gratifying to support the Seminary’s provision of a tuition-free Master of Divinity program degree for military chaplain candidates through the Evangelical Seminary’s Four Chaplains Scholarship program. I’m looking forward, along with our team at Ambassador Advisors, to help and support Evangelical Seminary in the next steps of its journey.

Beth Bostwick – Servant Leader Corporate Partner Award (Website: Masterpiece Marketing)

For more than ten years, my team and I have had the pleasure of collaborating with Evangelical Seminary’s leadership to shape inspirational marketing tactics that meet their organizational goals and motivate supporters.

I value that the team at Evangelical Seminary focuses intently on training students to effectively serve, care, train and mentor. Their goal is to create leaders who will be conduits of change and boldly preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

> Evangelical Seminary is relentless about speaking truth found in God’s word at any cost
> Evangelical Seminary sees need in the world and envisions how their graduates can make an impact that addresses it
> Evangelical Seminary’s visionary leadership inspires their students to think resourcefully
> Evangelical Seminary is passionate about preparing individuals to seek God’s wisdom and not their own
> Evangelical Seminary is not limited to bricks and mortar, but rather grows their effective programs around the world using creative and modern tactics

Working with a client like Evangelical Seminary who sees challenges or barriers as an opportunity rather than a threat inspires our team of marketing consultants. Our team has been blessed through this positive attitude, which gives us the freedom to create cohesive themes, vivid publications and motivational tactics (such as donor appeals).

I have grown personally and professionally throughout my relationship with Evangelical Seminary….for this I am forever grateful.

Jeff Byerly – Visionary Trustee Award (Website: Evangelical Congregational Church)

From the first time I set foot on the campus of Evangelical Seminary in 1995, I began to experience the beautiful invitation to explore the depths of theological education. In all honesty, as I remember that experience, I thought I was there to take courses, get good grades, and graduate in order to complete my ministry requirements. However, I quickly realized that God would do something more substantial within those early years. Through Evangelical Seminary, God would shape me—helping me to understand my identity in Christ, absorb the passion that God demonstrates toward his people, and develop a character that would be representative of his kingdom’s calling.

Twenty-five years later, I am not only an alumnus, but have served on the board during two periods since graduation, I have taught courses in the Institute for Church Leadership, and most recently am enrolled in the Th.D. program in the Leadership and Liminality cohort. Currently, in my role as the Ministerial Development Associate with the Evangelical Congregational Church, I continue to support the mission of Evangelical Seminary as I encourage and guide students toward their educational goals, knowing that they too are being shaped by God’s Spirit during their studies.

Ephrata Community Church – Catalytic Church Award (Website: Ephrata Community Church)

Written by Pastor Kevin Eshleman of ECC:

I first enrolled in a class at Evangelical Seminary in 2007 for the purpose of exploring the ways I could be better equipped to serve the local church. What I encountered and what I received through my time at Evangelical was so much more than I expected! Evangelical Seminary’s focus on the shaping of the heart of the student along with the knowledge of God and His ways led to the most life transforming season of my life as I had the privilege to sit under the teaching and leadership of professors who love God and have dug deep into the riches of God’s ways and shared those ways with students.

Upon graduation I began to consider ways the local church can also experience the wonderful resources of Evangelical Seminary! We asked the question, “How could we serve the church and community by making the resources of Evangelical Seminary more accessible?” The result of that question became what is now called the Institute for Christian Learning at Ephrata Community Church. The response has been great! In the first two semesters of the ICL 79 individuals have taken advantage of the opportunity to learn and grow in the Lord! This is simply the beginning of a significant relationship and the opportunity for many people to grow in the Lord! Thank you to Evangelical, its professors and its leadership for the opportunity you’ve given us to partner with you!

Please direct any questions or comments to Ann Steel at

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