A former Morenci resident recently earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from the California Graduate School of Theology in La Habra, Calif.
Greenville First Congregational Church pastor Jerry Jones earned his doctorate after completing 15 doctoral level credit hours with the California school.
Prior to that, he earned continuing education units in 2006 through a Calvin Theological Seminary Preaching Intensive at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in Grand Rapids, Mich.
In 2000, he earned a diploma and letter of commendation from the Robert Schuller School of Preaching in Garden Grove, Calif., where he majored in communications.
Also in 2000 he studied worship renewal at the Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Ill. He earned an Advanced Ministerial Studies Diploma, which the college considers an equivalent to a Doctorate of Ministry.
His first post-graduate work was completed at the Bangor (Maine) Theological Seminary in 1994, where he graduated with honors.
He earned a bachelor of arts in humanities from Siena Heights University in 1992. He graduated magna cum laude, with an emphasis on psychology and religion.
Rev. Dr. Jones received several academic awards, including a 1995 fellowship to study at the British Seminar in Nottingham, England.
He has served as Greenville Congregational’s senior pastor since 1995. Prior to that he served churches in Gurnee, Ill., and Orrington, Maine, as an associate pastor.
Rev. Dr. Jones operated a family farm near Morenci for 27 years before enrolling in college and working toward his divinity degrees.
His doctorate brings a degree of personal satisfaction beyond the academic achievement.
“Having left Morenci 20 years ago with no education beyond high school and more than a bit of brokenness over the loss of the family farm, it represents both completion and a kind of redemption,” he said.