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‘Moody Prepared Me to Start’

'Moody Prepared Me to Start'

1997 alumnus grateful for the education and training he received for 25 years as a church pastor
  • September 7, 2022

Peter Dahlin has been a church pastor for 25 years since graduating from Moody Bible Institute in 1997.

When Peter Dahlin looks back on his years at Moody Bible Institute, the 1997 graduate says his alma mater has played a critical role in his 25 years as a pastor—and continues so to this day.

“Moody prepared me to start,” Peter says.

Peter, who now serves as Groups and Redemptive Community Pastor at Riverside Church in Fort Meyers, Florida, thinks of his early days at a church in Huntsville, Alabama and how his training at Moody sustained him. “We launched our first campus, and they sent me to be our first church planter. The things I learned at Moody carried on and came into play there.”

Peter spent the first 23 years of his vocational ministry as a youth pastor before becoming a counseling pastor in March 2020. He credits Moody with preparing him for a long and fruitful tenure in youth ministry.

“Moody has stayed an integral part of my life,” he says. “I’ve seen many students out of my youth programs go to Moody. We have students all over the world—in China, in Panama. Everywhere that our missionaries are serving the Lord in full-time ministry, I was able to help because of some of the things that Moody put into me.”

Peter and Rhonda (Stricker), a fellow 1997 Moody graduate, moved along with their son, Pierson, and daughter, Sydney, to Fort Myers, where Peter began serving at Riverside Church. He was drawn to what he describes as the church’s commitment “to make itself available to areas of recovery and redemption so that things that were lost can be recovered and restored.”

The church opens its building free of charge to community support groups like Al Anon, AA, and Gamblers Anonymous to build relationships with people who need Christ and otherwise wouldn’t set foot inside of a church. “Riverside itself is intentional about how it walks with people in grief, addiction, mental illness, and all kinds of needs,” Peter says.

Peter’s position as Groups and Redemptive Community Pastor allows him to counsel teens and adults and to work with married couples individually or together. He continues to see his education and training at Moody impacting the work he undertakes in his new pastoral endeavor.

“Moody didn’t answer every question or solve every problem that I’ve faced in the years of ministry. But they did prepare me to start so that when I got on the job, I knew where to begin. I knew where to look. I knew how to have relationships or conversations. So Moody was amazing for me in that regard. I felt like coming out of there, I had everything I needed to begin and to keep growing. I'm very thankful for my time at Moody Bible Institute.”

Check out the full story about Peter Dahlin in the fall issue of Alumni & Friends magazine in October.