What are the joys and struggles of a life of full-time ministry?


Chaz Howard

The Reverend Charles L. Howard, PhD is the University Chaplain at the University of Pennsylvania, his alma mater.  Prior to his return to Penn, Dr. Howard served in hospice and hospital chaplaincies and as a street outreach worker to individuals experiencing homeless in the City of Philadelphia. Journeying with the students, faculty, and staff of Penn has been one of the great joys of his vocational life.  He is thankful to have many opportunities to connect with others through preaching, guest lecturing, and through writing. His writings have been featured in such publications as Black Arts Quarterly, Black Theology: An International Journal, Daily Good, Urban Cusp, Sojourners Magazine, and The Huffington Post, where he is a regular contributor.  Along with his duties as Chaplain, Chaz has taught in the College of Arts and Sciences and in the Graduate School of Education at Penn, as well as at The Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia.  A son of Baltimore, he considers himself a God-son of Philly where he lives with his wife and best friend, Dr. Lia C. Howard and his three daughters.

More about Chaz can be found here. He tweets at @chaz_howard.



John Starke

John Starke grew up in Kansas City, MO but moved to New York City in 2011. He is a graduate of Columbia International University and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. John is the Pastor of Preaching at Apostles Church in New York City. Previously, he was an editor at The Gospel Coalition. He is the co-editor of One God in Three Persons (Crossway, 2015). John and his wife, Jena, along with their four children live in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. 

Find John's blog here. He tweets at @johnstarke.



Wendy Calderon-Payne

Rev. Wendy Andrea Calderón Payne graduated with honors from Brown University with an A.B. in Latin American Studies in 1989.  In 2000, Rev. Calderón Payne graduated from the Executive Level Program of the Columbia Business School Not-for-Profit Institute.  Upon graduation from Brown, Rev. Calderón Payne began serving with Urban Youth Alliance International (UYAI) as the organization’s College Coordinator, and then later as the Assistant Director, and became the Executive Director in 1994. Since then, UYAI has grown from a grassroots youth organization to a well-respected faith-based organization that has attracted the attention of city and federal agencies. Urban Youth Alliance has several impactful programs including Seekers Christian Fellowships. Seekers is cross-cultural, cross-denominational and includes youth from over 200 local churches. It is the most extensive indigenous, urban, student run and student led campus ministry in the United States. Currently about 1,000 youth participate in nearly 30 Seekers fellowships on high school and college campuses around New York City, Westchester and Long Island. Another program, BronxConnect is the only Bronx-based, community and faith-based program serving court-involved youth. BronxConnect has sustained an 83% success rate throughout its 15 years of existence.  The program has won the respect of multiple court-affiliated agencies, including the City of New York Law Department, and the Department of Probation, both of which have entered into formal partnerships with UYAI. Rev. Calderón Payne is Colombian-American, a native of Brooklyn, New York, and after living over a decade in the Bronx, currently resides in Staten Island.  She is married to Rev. Shayne Payne, an Antiguan native, and they are the proud parents of three boys.