Posts tagged Emmaus Ministries
Meet the Staff: Stephen Ray

This week we want to introduce you to Stephen Ray. After Graduating college at Oakland University, Stephen moved from Michigan to be a student at Emmaus. After his student year, Stephen joined the staff. He’s now been a part of the teaching team at Emmaus for 2 years.

All right Stephen, what do you do around here?

I have my dream job here at Emmaus, I am a part of the teaching staff. This means I get to teach entire books of the bible for our school, Biblical Literacy Seminars and even our Biblical Narrative Series. I'm also in charge of the weekly devotions that we do with as a community, grading homework and meeting for one on ones with our students.

What is your favorite part of your Job?

My favorite part of my job is seeing the moment of discovery in the students. Whether it be our part time School of Biblical Studies students or people attending one of our seminars, I love seeing people “Get it!” It could be a specific book of the bible is coming alive or the gospel is getting deeper and deeper into their hearts as they dig into the text.  

When did you know God was calling you to be a part of Emmaus?

When I was a student I remember working on my homework for 2nd Corinthians. I was getting so excited about these New Testament books coming alive to me for what felt like the first time. As I was studying, I thought, “Man i wish i could keep going deeper.” At that moment, I felt like God said to me “You can if you stay”. Not to long after that Tom Phillips (the former director) invited me to be on staff.

Which Bible Character would you want to get coffee with?

I would love to have coffee with Paul. His letters are so theologically dense, and people still debate constantly on what he is trying to say. I would love to have a full, in depth conversation with him to talk through some of his more confusing passages and see what he was trying to say. I would also love to have coffee with the Apostle Peter. In many ways, Peter reminds me of myself and i would love to talk with him over our similarities.

What was your favorite Christian Song to Jam out to growing up?

When i was a kid Switchfoot was just getting big. So I would rock out to “Meant to Live” and “Beautiful Let Down.”

Why Emmaus?

One thing about this ministry that has continually drawn me in is the community. We aren’t just a bunch of intellectuals debating theology, seeking deeper knowledge of scripture. We are community of believers committed to walking with each other through life. It was pretty easy to say yes to Jesus and come on staff because I have always felt such a strong presence of “Home.” I’m genuinely friends with every single person that is on staff. That’s a great gift to have.  

If you would like to partner with Stephen financially or read his blog follow the links below.

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Meet the Staff: Sarah

Sarah Wise has been on staff with Emmaus for the past 3 years. After Graduating from Asbury Seminary Sarah (along with her husband, Kris) was ready to go anywhere in the world to serve Jesus. Imagine their surprise when they felt the call to stay home and serve King Jesus right here in Oviedo! Today we sit down with Sarah to learn more about her!

So Sarah tell me, what do you do around here?

Boring things I oddly find exciting like quickbooks, financial reports and board meetings. And exciting things I find life giving like teaching in the classroom, giving seminars, meeting one-on-one with students and hosting a discussion group called "Tea & Topics."

What is your favorite part of your Job?

Teaching hands down is my favorite part of the job. Being a life-long learner, it helps to have times when I get to intentionally and indepthly study books of the bible for the sake of teaching. The best way to learn a book is to teach it. The neat part also is to reteach books of the bible. You get to see scripture in a new way each time you teach it. It is one thing to say that scripture is living, and another to experience the reality of that statement when you see it apply in new ways each year.

When did you know God was calling you to be a part of Emmaus?

I knew that I wanted to be on staff when I went to a community dinner at Tom Phillip's (prior to joining staff officially) and felt like I was home. It was over dinner and prayer that night, where I recognized the group of people surrounding me were connected with a shared mission that brought us together as a team of families, not just individuals. It felt like a breath of fresh air to gather with Christians who cared passionately about living authentic, Christ-following, and self-sacrificing lives. I was always interested in the mission of Emmaus, but what compelled me to join was the community I experienced there.

Which Bible Character would you want to get coffee with?

I'm torn. I wanted to say John the Baptist at first. The one who said "I must become less, so that he can become more." Those are powerful words that humbly accepted Jesus ministry as greater than his own, and yet still struggled with that identity. I get that kind of experience. My second thought was Mary, sister of Martha. The one who stayed at Jesus' feet to listen to the teaching. The one who, with tears in her eyes, desperately sought God to ask "Where is my Lord." Genesis (and really lots of the Old Testament) is full of God asking humans "where" are you, but here, the woman who's life had been so radically altered, asks it of God. Her story also resonates with me. That she got to be the first witness to the resurrection is just icing on the cake. So lets say that my final answer is Mary, sister of Martha.

What was your favorite Christian Song to Jam out to growing up?

Funny enough, my first thought (likely because of its relevance) was the song that goes "The B.I.B.L.E. Yes that's the book for me. I stand alone on the word of God. The B.I.B.L.E!"

Why Emmaus?

Prior to joining the staff here at Emmaus, I worked as a teaching and research assistant at Asbury Theological Seminary. While I loved the academic environment there, I missed the one-on-one nature of discipleship which I grown to love during my time in college and para-church ministry. There is something transformative about the intersection between the head and heart. I love the nerdy academic side of diving into the world of the ancient near east and 1st century Judaism, but to learn and teach about it, without interacting with people wrestling with the significance the scripture in the here and now, doesn’t quite satisfy my teaching itch. My family likes to say that we are called to equip others, grow disciples and serve our community, and we know, without a doubt, that the best way we can do all three of those is here at Emmaus.

If you would like to financially team up with Sarah in her Mission here at Emmaus or read her family blog, click the buttons below!

Announcing Caleb Ives as Executive Director
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We are very pleased to announce that Caleb Ives will be the new Executive Director for Emmaus Ministries, effective April 5, 2018.

Caleb has served on Emmaus Ministries (ESBS) staff team since 2012.  Before serving with Emmaus Ministries, Caleb and his wife, Latoya, were full-time staff at a church in Michigan. In addition, Caleb has taught the Bible internationally for many years. Caleb holds his Emmaus School of Biblical Studies (ESBS) certificate and received an MDiv from Regent Seminary. Caleb is a gifted Pastor, Teacher, Communicator and Leader. Caleb and Latoya have four beautiful girls (Lily, Grace, Maya, & Faith) who keep them busy and bring a lot of joy to their lives. 

Lilly, Grace, Maya, Faith

Lilly, Grace, Maya, Faith

Please join us in welcoming Caleb and his family in the new role as Emmaus' Executive Director.

- Emmaus Ministries Board

Hello Emmaus Friends

Since 2006 the core of Emmaus Ministries has centered around our 10-month residential Bible School (the School of Biblical Studies).  We’re so grateful for all the people God has transformed through this program, and we’re grateful for all of those who have labored and given to make the program a reality.  After 10 incredible schools, we’ve discerned that God is asking Emmaus to redesign this core program.  We’ve now crafted a similar school, but one offered in a more accessible format!

Our new School of Biblical Studies will be a part-time school, requiring 20 hours of weekly participation, instead of the 40+ hrs our former program required.  Students will have the option to live in residence, but they can now also commute to our campus.  Additionally, students will have the option to participate in a 10-15 hr/wk paid internship with a local church partner.  The program is still 10 months long, and still takes students through the content of the entire Bible using the Inductive Study Method.  The new program simply asks less of a student outside of the classroom, replacing some of the study time with an internship or local job.  This change makes a year at Emmaus much more accessible.  Additionally, any Emmaus student with an undergraduate degree may now also enroll at Asbury Seminary and receive a significant scholarship through our new Emmaus/Asbury partnership, making Emmaus more attractive to those interested in a seminary education.   


Our new School is accepting applications now for a soft launch in January 2018, with our typical year-long school beginning August 2018.  We’re excited about the new direction we’re headed, and we know it will present a greater opportunity for more students to encounter God through this life changing curriculum and community.


Tom Phillips

Follow us on Facebook and be on the look out for our BIG Facebook post Tuesday, Oct 10, 2017! We will be sharing information on our NEW School of Biblical Studies, Biblical Narrative Series, and Biblical Literacy Program.

Room Renovations
Most of the time being on staff with Emmaus means teaching, grading, and maybe cooking or having a one-on-one with a student. It's full of awesome things and the only reason you would ever do it (in our minds at least) is because you feel called by God, and you love it!

But sometimes being on staff with Emmaus means doing things that aren't in the job description.

The last two weeks we have begun renovating the five rooms that we will be using for this coming fall. By the end of next week 4/5 of the rooms will be complete! We tore out the carpet, scraped the floors, painted the room, and put down brand new flooring and trim! 

Take a look!

Before renovations began

It's not every day you get to rip stuff...especially carpet...

Scraping up excess carpet glue...stuff...

Painting, painting, painting...

Caleb putting down matting for the floor

Tom Roberts putting in our new wood flooring for us!

Tom: "This is how it's going to work from now on..."
Trey: "Good deal..."

A special thanks to Kelly for getting us a GREAT deal on the flooring!

Here's the was a little limited at the time so we had to get creative with where to paint it...

The bad news? We all got a little grumpy throughout the process. Props to Caleb for sticking it out with a migraine one day!
The good news? Nobody died either by accident or by the hands of a fellow staff member...

Just kidding! But seriously, the rooms are looking fantastic and we couldn't have done any of it without Tom Roberts! 

We are so excited at the prospect of filling these rooms with new students this August! We will post more pictures of the finished rooms once the new bunk beds are in place!

*Note: If you would like to give to our general fund to help us pay for these gorgeous rooms our students will live in, please visit our website here:

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