Jeff McClain (left), Pastor of Congregational Care, and Vern Collins, Pastor of Discipleship, are two of the pastors providing spiritual care and worship leadership at Boone United Methodist Church.

BOONE – What does it take to become equipped as a pastor in a local church? Depending on a pastor’s focus of ministry, religious training can vary widely.

At Boone United Methodist Church, two pastors, Vern Collins and Jeff McClain, have recently completed separate programs to help them better serve people from the church and throughout the High Country.

For Collins, who has pastored the Crossroads contemporary worship service at Boone since 2011, a master’s degree in Christian ministry, which he completed this past May from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, has given him an opportunity to study Christian texts more deeply with people from around the globe. As Collins completes this significant step in his theological training, he is eagerly laying out plans toward his next seminary degree.

“This journey has made me aware of how much I love seminary learning, and it has deepened my love for the church and Bible,” Vern said. “It is a gift to watch people’s eyes open to scripture as they hear from God. God is not done with us, and He is not done with this church.”

McClain, who has served Boone UMC as the Pastor of Congregational Care since 2012, completed a two-year certificate program in spiritual direction this past summer from North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, Ill., where he also earned a master’s degree in divinity in 2011.

The program equips McClain to help people focus their awareness toward God, encouraging them toward a more intentional Christian life through prayer and reflection.

“When I was first called to ministry, I wanted to help people experience the life-giving transformation that comes with a closer walk with God,” McClain said. “Through this certificate program, I have learned how to hold space with people as they actively seek God’s presence and direction. It’s a gift to offer that ministry, and it is a natural extension of who God has called me to be.”

Collins, McClain and the other pastors of Boone UMC, including Senior Pastor Ed Glaize, invite community members to worship each Sunday at one of the church’s three services: Praise & Worship in the Sanctuary at 8:30 a.m.; Crossroads contemporary service in the Family Life Center at 10:55 a.m.; and Traditional worship in the Sanctuary at 11:00 a.m.

To watch services online and discover more about the church’s upcoming events, visit and follow Boone UMC on Facebook and Instagram.

October is Clergy Appreciation Month, when the contributions of ministers are celebrated to encourage them in their work and calling.

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