Started UPSem 2021: Matt Wiedle (pursuing MDiv and MACE)

  1. Started UPSem 2002: Rev. Lori Raible (MDiv 2006)
  2. Started UPSem 2003: Rev. Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown (MDiv 2008)
  3. Started UPSem 2004: Rev. Nadine Ellsworth-Moran (MDiv / MACE 2011)
  4. Started UPSem 2005: Rev. Noe Juarez-Loayza (MDiv 2010)
  5. Started UPSem 2006: Rev. Lorenzo Small (MDiv 2013)
  6. Started UPSem 2007: Rev. Ken Fuquay (MACE 2011 / MDiv 2015)
  7. Started UPSem 2008: Rev. Jonathan Davis (MDiv 2014) 
  8. Started UPSem 2009: Rev. British Hyrams (MDiv/MACE 2016)
  9. Started UPSem 2010: Rev. Charmaine Smith (MDiv 2017)
  10. Started UPSem 2011: Rev. Vikki Brogdon (MDiv 2016)
  11. Started UPSem 2012: Rev. Dr. Doug Harr (MDiv 2018)
  12. Started UPSem 2013: Martin Pruitt (MDiv 2018 / MACE 2019)
  13. Started UPSem 2014: Rev. William Joseph “Joey” Haynes III (MDiv 2019)
  14. Started UPSem 2015: Rev. Gail Henderson-Belsito (MDiv 2020)
  15. Started UPSem 2016: Rev. Eric Tang (MDiv 2021)
  16. Started UPSem 2017: Rev. Marina Luckhoo (pursuing MDiv)
  17. Started UPSem 2018: Jason Smith
  18. Started UPSem 2019: Ryan Atkinson
  19. Started UPSem 2020: Sedae Slaughter (pursuing MACE)
  20. Started UPSem 2021: Matt Wiedle (pursuing MDiv and MACE)

The following is part of a series of 20 profiles that represent each year that Charlotte has been enrolling students. 

Senior Business Development Manager
Wickfire, LLC
Asheville, North Carolina

Born in Indiana but raised in Illinois, Matt Wiedle now calls Asheville, North Carolina, home with his wife and one “fur baby.” Receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Millikin University, he studied opera at Yale before enrolling at Union Presbyterian Seminary Charlotte. In between Yale and UPSem, Wiedle was a professional opera singer and now works in marketing.

After returning to an active church life several years ago, he felt a persistent call to consider seminary. “It started with a 10-month leadership development program at our previous church in Austin, Texas, and still hasn’t left me. I’m still waiting and praying for discernment around the calling after seminary, but for now, enjoying the journey of learning.” He chose UPSem Charlotte for a variety of reasons. First, the proximity of the campus to his home meant a reasonable commute without having to move or give up work. Also, the weekend class schedule meant he could continue in his job while attending seminary. But what confirmed his decision were the recommendations made by others. “I chose UPSem Charlotte because it was highly recommended by a friend at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church and then confirmed by a fellow congregant and now classmate already attending UPSem Charlotte.”

As a student who started recently, Wiedle is struck by the sense of community and support created on the campus that merges with a broad intellectual curiosity. “I appreciate the combination of the amazing staff and the support of my cohort,” he says. “When you couple that with deepening my knowledge around the faith, the history, and the lived-out practice, how can you go wrong?” He continues: “The journey will challenge you, but the amazing staff and the support of your cohort are instrumental in getting through it. It truly does feel like the right mix of challenge and support that leads to the best growth.”

Wiedle is still discerning where and to what this educational experience might lead. At this point, he is simply enjoying the journey and open to whatever destinations present themselves.