Started UPSem 2008: Rev. Jonathan Davis (MDiv 2014) 

  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. 

Hermon Presbyterian Church
Rock Hill, South Carolina

A son, brother, husband, and father, Rev. Jonathan Davis (MDiv 2014)  is originally from Shulerville, South Carolina. Davis finished high school in Andrews, South Carolina, before enrolling in college at the University of South Carolina. While at USC, Davis completed a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management, ultimately completing a master’s degree in management at Webster University. Settling into a career in business, Davis was working in management at Liberty Mutual when he decided to go to seminary.

An ordained Baptist minister, Davis was encouraged to enroll at Union Presbyterian Seminary Charlotte by another Charlotte alum serving at his then congregation. “A minister in my church, St. Luke Missionary Baptist, Dr. Ophelia Gorman-Brown, was at Union. She, along with my pastor, Reverend Clifford Matthews, highly recommended Union.” Choosing to attend seminary was a given, Davis adds, and attending UPSem Charlotte was a comfortable fit because the location and program structure made attending manageable for someone needing to work, not move, and still pursue a call to ministry, “Charlotte was where I lived and worked, and because I was still working, I loved the weekend program they had that made it conducive for me to attend.” Davis not only found the program in Charlotte convenient, but he also found it appropriately rigorous. “Seminary was very challenging, and I appreciated the challenge. The professors had a wealth of biblical, theological, church, pastoral, and practical knowledge. They brought that knowledge to the classroom, preparing us for ministry.” While deeming it convenient and rigorous, Davis found UPSem Charlotte to excel at one thing above all others: The campus, he says, excels at creating community. “Creating community was instilled in us from day one of seminary. Because we were successful in creating that community, there is a bond with Union seminarians and graduates that is everlasting.” After graduation, Davis did not go far from his UPSem community. He began serving as a Stated Supply Pastor at Hermon Presbyterian Church in Rock Hill, South Carolina, a position he still holds.

Given the size and steady growth of Charlotte and the surrounding metro area, Davis feels that UPSem Charlotte is not only well-positioned for those wanting to answer a call to ministry, but that size and growth create an increasing and enduring need for theological education in the region. As Davis observes, “Having a seminary in Charlotte is needed for all those that God is calling into ministry in the area. Due to the many churches in the city, someone should not have to go to another city to attend seminary. There is a need for the seminary in the city, a need UPSem Charlotte is ready to fulfill.”