The Reverend Ronald J. Degges, President of Disciples Home Missions (DHM), has announced that Matthew Walters has been called as the Refugee and Immigration Ministries (RIM) Intern. Walters will serve part time from August 1, to December 31, 2011, following the retirements of Jennifer Riggs, Director of RIM, and Linda Williamson, Program Assistant for Resettlement at the end of July. During Walters’ service, a search will be conducted for the next Director of RIM to start in 2012.
Walters will be a first year seminary student at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana, but he comes with a wealth of international experience. He received his B.A. in Peace Studies from Chapman University; studied in the Masters Program in International Cooperation in Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea; and received a Masters of Public Administration from Columbia University. He has had international experience as an exchange student, an intern, or an ESL instructor in Argentina, Costa Rica, Finland, Germany, Honduras, Panama, and South Korea. Most recently he has served as a Graduate Research Associate in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. Walters speaks Spanish and some Korean.
Walters, the son of two ordained Disciples clergy, says: “Although I have found my work in international education extremely rewarding, I have come to recognize God has called me to continue my dedication to peace and social justice through ministry.” As a young boy his congregation resettled a Vietnamese refugee and he found it to be a transforming experience. Now, he is looking forward to the opportunity to invite other congregations into refugee and immigration ministries.