Meet The Rev. Dr. Nick Works, Wesley Assistant Director of the Practice of Ministry and Mission. He also serves as the assistant pastor at the South Damascus Charge of the Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church.
Originally from a small town in Southeastern Arkansas called White Hall, Nick grew up in the Baptist Church. “I will forever consider myself an Arkansan because it is just who I am. I am also a rabid fan of the Arkansas Razorbacks and love to call those Hogs…WOO PIG SOOIE!!!!” said Nick (anyone who has studied with Wesley Professor Carla Works, Ph.D., his wife, has heard that hog call before!)
Nick holds a B.A. in Christian Ministry (Williams Baptist College, Walnut Ridge, AR), M.A. in Theology, Church History and Systematic Theology (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX) and earned both a Wesley M.Div. (‘13) and a D.Min. (‘20).
In 2009, when Dr. Carla Works joined the WTS faculty, Nick was “thrilled” to attend Wesley. “I had always wanted to continue my education in a non-Baptist school that was respected around the world, and take classes with some of the most amazing professors I have ever met.”
Two classes in particular were standouts for Nick. “I asked Dr. Beverly Mitchell to direct an independent study with me so that I could learn part of the History of the Church in Africa. I had spent so much time learning about the History of the church from a European perspective that I felt I was missing so much about the faithfulness of disciples from around the world. I wanted to learn more about disciples like “The Nine Saints” of the Ethiopian Church. These disciples labored to strengthen the Ethiopian Church in the 400’s. The other class was taught by Dr. Sathi Clarke, “World Religions as a Resource for Christian Ministry.” What I loved about that class is that we were taught that the other great faiths of the world are not adversaries but rather resources that can strengthen faithful Christian ministry in today’s world,” recalled Nick.
Nick is also well known on campus as a Wesley staff member. “I began working at Wesley in May of 2012 as the Director of Recruitment. I served in that role until November of 2016 when I transitioned into my present role in the PMM office.” And now…the Hoppy story, the official (or unofficial?) mascot of Wesley. “When I was the director of Recruitment, it was my responsibility to travel around to countless colleges, universities and conferences around the country to recruit students. I felt a deep kinship to the traveling circuit riders like Asbury and even Wesley who traveled by horseback to preach the gospel. So, I traveled around with a stuffed horse named Hoppy and took pictures of Hoppy at all the different locations Hoppy and I traveled to for those 4 years in the admissions office. I still have them,” said Nick.
For Nick, the best part of the Wesley community is” the diversity that comes as a natural outgrowth of being here.”
Nick is also a bi-vocational pastor, which is the fulfillment of a call he felt early in his life.
“When I was 15 years old, I felt that God was calling me to serve as a Pastor and as a Teacher. Both my parents were teachers, and I always thought I would be a teacher when I grew up. But I also felt like God was calling me to be a pastor. I didn’t know how that would work, but I felt a passion to serve as a pastor in a local congregation where matters of birth, life and death play out on a daily basis and also to help mentor new pastors and Christian leaders. It is a dream come true to work at Wesley with an amazing group of students, staff, and faculty AND to serve as a pastor all at the same time,” said Nick.
Anyone who know the Works family knows they love to travel! But Nick has a particular interest: “Whenever I travel, I try to visit great churches. I have visited 68 cathedrals or great historical churches, 43 of them in England where I did my doctoral work. My favorite story is that when I went to Israel in 2012 with Dr. Denise Dombkowski Hopkins on my Immersion, I was kicked out of the one of the oldest churches in the world, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. An armed police officer removed me from the church of the nativity because I laughed a little too loudly. God forbid exhibiting joy at being in such a holy place!!!!” recalled Nick.
The quote he loves best? “Stanley Hauerwas wrote in his book “With the Grain of the Universe” that “people who wear crowns and who claim to foster justice by the sword are not as strong as they think they are….It is the people who bear crosses that work with the grain of the universe. One does not come to that belief by reducing social process to mechanical and statistical models, nor by winning some of one’s battles for the control of one’s own corner of the fallen world. One comes to it by sharing the life of those who sing about the Resurrection of the slain Lamb.” I love that quote. It always makes me want to be a better disciple,” said Nick. #ARRazorbacks # WOOPIGSOOIE #bivocational #Hoppy #joy #FacesofWesley
Faces of Wesley is a weekly profile of one of the members of our Wesley Community - faculty, students, alumni, staff, administration and other friends of Wesley. You can read it on our Facebook or Instagram platforms or on our website's home page.