Posted on August 24, 2023
Rev. Dr. Kyle Goodman is the lead pastor of Alamance Presbyterian Church in Greensboro. A native of Eden, NC, Kyle graduated from UNCG in 2001 with majors in Religious Studies and Classical Studies. After UNCG, he earned his Master of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA, and later, his Doctor of Ministry from Louisville Seminary. Kyle pastored churches in Camden, SC, and Statesville, NC before returning home to Greensboro in 2017. Kyle, his partner Michelle, and their daughter Maelyn (9) live in the Southeast community of Guilford County. In addition to his work at Alamance, Kyle serves on his presbytery’s executive council and co-chairs its stewardship team. He has served as board president for the UKirk Greensboro campus ministry. He organizes Greensboro Beer and Hymns quarterly at Oden Brewing Company, and he volunteers with the Ales for ALS program. In his precious moments of free time, Kyle enjoys traveling the world, kayaking the lake in his neighborhood, (mostly) dominating at pub trivia, and building community around a good story or two.
About his time in the Religious Studies Department at UNCG:
“When I look back on it, there’s been no course of academic study that prepared me better for my life’s work than the Religious Studies Major at UNCG. The work I do as a pastor is all about integrating thought and experience. It’s about looking learning to look at the world critically while still beholding its beauty and the richness of its complexity. It’s about holding on to personal convictions while letting the story told by another inform and reform the way I think, feel, and act. Those are tools I carry with me into the practice of ministry every day, and I first learned them in those seminar rooms and offices on the first floor of the Foust Building. The department gave me a solid foundation for understanding my own tradition and how it fit into a wider tapestry of belief. It gave me opportunities to explore the biggest philosophical and epistemological questions, and it encouraged me to bring those questions into the work I was doing.
When I was at UNCG, I was also working at a local church as a youth director, and I was very involved in campus religious life, particularly through Presbyterian Campus Ministry (now UKirk Greensboro). One summer, I traveled to Iona, Scotland with the campus ministry, and the department worked with me on an independent study that allowed me to explore the history and mythology of that place much more deeply than I could on a week-long trip. I used material from my coursework to teach classes on other religious traditions, the history of Christianity in Greensboro, and even the Dead Sea Scrolls at the church where I was working while I was a student. The Religious Studies Department partnered with Classical Studies one semester to offer a course on New Testament Greek. I had it made when it came to New Testament exegesis in seminary. I had already done it as an undergraduate!
I was not among the top students in my class in high school; I was thankful for the opportunity to study at UNCG. When I applied to several top-tier seminaries during my senior year at UNCG, three of them offered me their largest scholarship. My grades at UNCG were excellent, but my GPA was not what those schools found most appealing. They were most interested in my readiness to apply learning, to let what I had studied in the classroom inform the practice of ministry, and to let the practice of ministry be thoughtfully and critically examined among a cohort of my peers. That is what Religious Studies at UNCG gave me. And I am not the only one. Four of us from the Presbyterian Campus Ministry majored in Religious Studies. We have served in ministry settings across the country, caring for the sick and dying, ministering to students on other campuses, speaking out for justice and peace, and working with non-profits and faith-based groups to make an impact in communities all over the world. Of course, the Religious Studies Department doesn’t just produce clergy, but no matter where the degree takes its graduates, I know it has cultivated minds and hearts ready to see the world in new ways and make a difference where they can. UNCG cannot afford to sacrifice programs and graduates like that!