Started UPSem 2011: Rev. Vikki Brogdon (MDiv 2016)

  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. 

Upper Long Cane Presbyterian Church
Abbeville, South Carolina

A native South Carolinian, Vikki Brogdon grew up on a farm between Sumter and Manning, South Carolina. She still lives on that same farm. A fifth-generation farmer, Brogdon felt called to go to seminary after one of her sons came home to farm. More specifically, it was serving on Kairos Prison Ministry teams that prompted her call. As Brogdon remembers, “I began to feel God’s pull. Not understanding why, I began to realize it was a pull to attend seminary. It was quite a surprise several years later to realize that I was being called to the pulpit as a solo pastor.”

The structure of the program and the location of the campus were key to Brogdon choosing Union Presbyterian Seminary Charlotte. The campus was close to her home in South Carolina, and the weekend classes allowed her to keep working the farm while attending seminary. And yet, what she found at UPSem Charlotte was more than merely convenience. She found rigor and community. “UPSem prepared me scholastically. The rigors of studying and the invigorating debate among colleagues prepared me mentally. Bonding with my fellow students over chapel and meals provided inspiration and nurtured my prayer life. This was an education grounded in the basics of Biblical, theological, and language studies undertaken with devoted professors and a diverse student population who respected and encouraged one another. Christian community was formed within the walls of the seminary. UPSem Charlotte is truly a seedbed for theological development.”

In addition to intellectual development and a spirited community, Brogdon appreciates the opportunity that the Charlotte campus represents. Without the campus in Charlotte and the educational format, she wonders if as many people would be able to explore their calls to ministry. The campus grants opportunity. She asserts, “Whether early or late in life, I believe that none who hear God’s call to ministry should be left behind. The Charlotte campus of UPSem is a place to explore God’s call and to examine, with others, the way in which God is leading.” Framing her time in seminary out of her lived experience, Brogdon sees the Charlotte campus as a small rural church nestled in a bustling city. “The class sizes remain small, and the professors are laser-focused on the success of their students. It is a place of encouragement and inspiration, knowing that there is a prayer network and a caring ‘family’ church at work in that place.”

Now, back on her farm, she has added the titles of grandmother and ordained minister. Ordained in 2016, Brogdon is a Teaching Elder in the PC(USA), having served three congregations as a stated supply pastor since graduation.