be_ixf;ym_202404 d_15; ct_50

AGTS Alumni Perspective: Jodi Detrick

Name: Jodi Detrick

Graduation Year: 2013

Major: Doctor of Ministry – Leadership Studies

Current Position: Author, Speaker, Coach, Mentor

City and State: North Bend, Washington

 

Tell us about your career and what you do now.

I think God must have embedded a deep affection for words into my DNA. I fell in love with books in the second grade and we haven’t had a breakup since. The desire to fully develop and use my words, both written and spoken, to honor God and build bridges connecting others to His love was only heightened by my academic journey through AGTS. In 2013, the year I graduated with my doctoral degree, my first book, The Jesus-Hearted Woman: 10 Leadership Qualities for Enduring & Endearing Influence, was published. At the time, I also had the wildly improbable, utterly remarkable opportunity to write a regular column for The Seattle Times, the Pacific Northwest’s Pulitzer prize-winning regional newspaper. I’ll never get over the privilege of writing about what it means to have faith in Jesus in one of the most skeptical-towards-Christianity parts of the country. What I discovered is that hungry-for-God hearts are everywhere.

Recently, my newest book, The Settled Soul: Tenaciously Abiding with a Tender God was released in 2020, a most un-settled year when the pandemic, along with political and racial unrest, gave us all a good shaking. By God’s grace, my books have been released in a number of languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic, and are being used for personal and group study in many countries around the globe.

In the years since my graduation, I’ve been honored to speak for many different groups at various meetings, conferences, church services, and events across the country and in other countries. I am still humbled that Dr. George Wood invited me to be the 2016 Spiritual Emphasis Week speaker for our AG Fellowship’s National Leadership Resource Center in Springfield. And I’m still shaking my head in wonder at the privilege of being a

commencement speaker for both Northwest University (NU) and Southeastern Assemblies of God University (SAGU), and to have served as a keynote speaker for a few of our Fellowship’s District Council/Network Conference meetings. Whenever God gives me an open door, I love talking with people at heart level about the intersection of a doable faith, with life in the real world, and things that matter most.

It’s also been a delight to partner with my husband, Don, who serves as the Secretary-Treasurer for the Northwest Ministry Network (District) and to minister together in local churches in our region. We are both adjunct professors and have enjoyed teaching occasional classes at Northwest University and AGTS. Finally, I’ve loved serving as a coach and mentor to younger leaders—what a joy to invest in those who are in an earlier stage of embracing their own calling and saying a new ‘yes’ to Jesus!

What is your favorite memory from AGTS?

This is such a hard question because there are so many favorite memories! I’ve often said that the weeks spent in class at AGTS were like a personal spiritual revival for me. I loved the times of immersive, honest discussion with my cohort members after one of our godly professors had challenged us, yet again, to think more deeply as we pressed further into the vastness of God’s character and nature—and how knowing who HE is impacts who WE are as leaders. Often there would be spontaneous times of earnest prayer over some area of struggle, and we learned to keep a box of tissues handy! Many of those beloved professors and fellow study-buddies have become dear, lifelong friends with whom I stay connected even though it’s rare that we get to see each other in person these days.

How did AGTS help you identify/develop your calling?

Although I was already an ordained AG minister and had spent decades in active ministry when my AGTS academic journey began, it would be hard to overstate the profound impact that exploring my calling there had on me. As I did a deeper-dive into the specific ways God designed me (including the affect of my family of origin and life experiences), many areas of my identity and calling came into much clearer focus. This has allowed me to develop a framework for where to put each ‘yes’ and ‘no’ when it comes to how I spend the years God has given me on this planet.

How did your experience at AGTS prepare you for life after graduation?

Because we wrestled with real-world issues in the light of God’s Word, there have been numerous times when something I learned at AGTS has come back to me, helping me respond from the foundation of biblical truth. Further, honing my study, writing, and presenting skills has served me well as I’ve continued to write, preach, and teach in various settings.

What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?

I fully remember the temptation to look longingly and strain eagerly towards the finish line of graduation when that shiny new degree will finally be in hand. But take a deep breath and stay present in the present. Savor the small steps that make up this long journey, the life-giving relationships formed along the way, and the experience of learning for learning’s sake. Create space for the Holy Spirit to do His transforming work and ask Him to help you to retain the things that will prepare you for what comes next. Whenever possible, begin to implement what you’re learning into your present setting.

What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from AGTS?

While specialized skills are important and might be prerequisites for some job positions, I would also be looking for someone who is committed to developing a well-rounded life. To me, that would be a person who cares about maintaining healthy relationships, who tends to their own spiritual and emotional/mental well-being, who remains a learner, who lives generously, and who expresses the love and compassion of Jesus in daily, practical ways.