Attending the “brilliant, difficult, challenging and rewarding” 2012 Westmont in Istanbul semester has inspired Joe Bagdanov ’14 to work with the 2014 program after he graduates in December. A religious studies major, he expects to attend seminary. Unsure whether to pursue pastoral ministry or an academic career, Joe also contemplates working in missions, possibly in Istanbul or somewhere else in Turkey. “It’s an intriguing missions climate,” he says. Joe comes from a Westmont family: his parents, Steve ’81 and Kelly Nessen ’81 Bagdanov graduated as did his three brothers, Timothy ’07, Levi ’10 and Caleb ’12. “I’ve wanted to go to Westmont since I was 5,” he says. “It’s in the blood.” He found his own reason for attending: the ability to walk into a professor’s office and talk about everything from assignments to ministries. Thanks to a missiology class, Joe now considers the local community as a mission field and has served in the inner-city as a children’s ministry summer intern at Glenkirk Church in Glendora, Calif. A Westmont liberal arts ambassador, he has also traveled to schools to encourage students from diverse backgrounds to consider college, and he has tutored elementary and secondary students. Joe grew up in a rural area, the son of a pastor and an educator who started her own home-school group, and Westmont scholarships helped him afford tuition. “Westmont has exposed me to different intellectual ideas in an environment in which I could grapple with them in a healthy way with mentors and thoughtful students,” he says.
Your gifts to the Westmont Fund give scholars like Joe the opportunity to make a positive impact in our world for God’s Kingdom. Go to www.westmont.edu/giving to donate and meet other students.
The Westmont Fund: Expanding the ministry of Westmont