Todd Risser serves on the staff of the Mt. Vernon (Ohio) First Church of the Nazarene, as the Associate Pastor of Community Transformation and Partnerships, as well as the director of immigrant ministries, and pastor of the Spanish language congregation. He also serves as adjunct professor of subjects circling around Intercultural studies and International Development at Mt Vernon Nazarene University.

Todd received the Master of Arts in International Development from Eastern University (St. Davids, PA), a Master of Divinity (Missiology emphasis) from Nazarene Theological Seminary (Kansas City, MO), and a BA in Philosophy & Religion from Point Loma Nazarene University (San Diego, CA).

He has served as a lead pastor in the Church of the Nazarene for 24 years (on the coasts of both Maine and Ohio, and 19 years with the same congregation in the mountains of Pennsylvania), as well as a youth pastor on the coasts of California and Florida, worked in environmental biology and endangered species, and taught school in both private and public settings, including at the Navajo Reservation in northern Arizona.

Todd has worked and/or lived short-term in the Azores, Haiti, Indonesia, Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica.  His wife and he have 2 daughters and 4 sons, and three grandchildren. He works in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and can stumble along in Indonesian and Malaysian.

Some of the things Todd enjoys include ecology, hunting and fishing year-round, backpacking, canoeing, gardening, tinkering with and shooting 19th century infantry rifles, the seashore, Mars, history, Jewish/Christian/Muslim theology, wilderness survival, 18th Century Native American living skills, and building a sustainable/durable civilization for the future.

The sections of the blog:

The Church of the Nazarene

This section is concerned with discussions going on in our particular tribe within the Christian faith.


Postmodernism and Emerging Christianity

With Christian faith in the West undergoing yet another phase-change, issues of theology and practice are up again for discussion, just as they have been over and over again throughout the centuries, as Christians struggled to live and serve faithfully within the cultural contexts they found themselves in. Some doctrines have come to the fore once again, as some answers have been stretched beyond their useful lifespan and we are wrestling with the shape of this or that doctrine for today.


Theology, Scripture, Theologians

A catchall category for these three subjects within the Christian faith


Theology and Science

This section hits the interplay between theology and the sciences, including, due to my degree in Development, economic theory. I also draw from my occupational background in environmental biology and endangered species. (I try to keep up with the research.) I was employed in the California Gnatcatcher and Least Bell’s Vireo Endangered Species projects, as well as the Salton Sea Waterfowl Lawsuit of 1989.


Other Religions

Some of the Christian greats, such as Martin Luther and John Wesley, among many more, have cautioned that it is a breach of Christian Love to speak inaccurately of other faiths. Alongside that, history has shown that discussing things together often leads to good and productive outcomes.


Everything Else

If it doesn’t fit into the other categories…