How to Succeed as a Circuit Rider

Did you know that the fastest growing age group in divinity school enrollment is the baby boomer generation? As of 2010, approximately 20 percent of divinity school enrollees were boomers. As boomers approach retirement, they have a fresh chance to seek out sustainable work for a sustainable world.

Let me share the story of one boomer who improvised his way from corporate America into rural circuit riding and then to divinity school and beyond.  Dave left corporate America to work in financial management with a nonprofit providing a service he admired. While in his new workplace, Dave made still another move. He began to visit tiny Unitarian congregations in rural areas of his state on Sundays.

These small groups did not have the money to hire a minister. Dave was a good speaker and offered himself as a lay minister.  He became a circuit rider.

For years, Dave worked with his agency and rode his circuit on Sundays providing a lay ministerial service to tiny congregations. Eventually, well into middle age, he enrolled in seminary. After graduation with high marks, he found his way to a Unitarian pulpit in a university town and there he became known for refusing to marry couples until all couples could marry. Clearly Dave is a creative man of strong conviction.

On last report, Dave had moved with his wife to a new fellowship near their grown daughters. He continues to be active in pulpit and community, and he continues to speak on behalf of what he believes.  Dave offers an inspiring example of what can be accomplished at any age by improvising a new life/work performance, one creative move at a time.