2020 CBC Distinguished Alumnus Perspective: Dr. Steve Pulis
Name: Steve Pulis
Graduation Year: CBC 1990, AGTS 2006 & 2014
Major: B.A. Missions, B.A. Bible, A.A. in Music
Current Position: Convoy of Hope Senior Director of Community Events and Central Assembly Youth and Associate Pastor
City and State: Springfield, MO
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
Convoy of Hope Community Events Senior Director: 2014 – present
I advocate for compassion by turning the heart of the church towards the poor to deliver hope. I lead our team as we organize compassion outreach events connecting churches, organizations, and government agencies to serve the impoverished, suffering, and marginalized in the US.
Youth and Associate Pastor at Central Assembly in Springfield, MO: 2019 – present
I lead our Central Youth team. Our foundation is Jesus-centric, Bible-based, and Spirit-empowered.
We focus on five non-negotiable principles:
- Build youth ministry on the three purposes of Central Assembly, which are connect to God, connect with others, and connect to purpose
- Develop, train, and lead teams
- Grow a multi-generational youth leadership team
- Partner with parents to make disciples
- Focus on Family Ministry- connect from kids and to young adults
I was also the youth pastor at Central Assembly after I graduated from CBC. I was the church’s youngest youth pastor then and am the oldest youth pastor now.
The best thing is my wife Melissa and our sons Nathan and Colin.
Previous ministry opportunities:
Assemblies of God National Youth Ministries – 2002-2014
Student Outreach and Youth Alive Director – 2008-2014
Youth Alive Missionary Development Coordinator – 2002-2014
Assemblies of God US Missions – Youth Alive Missionary – 1998-2014
Youth Ministry Assistant Professor and Adjunct CBC 1999-2013
Coordinator for Youth Ministry Program
Youth Pastor at three churches – 1990-1998
Participated in two church plant teams in New Jersey – 1998 and 1990
Traveled to 53 countries and all 50 states
What is your favorite memory from CBC?
Getting caught on the roof of Welch dorm the day of graduation from CBC. The commencement speaker and another campus leader, who were also planning to graduate that night, were with me. We had to go to security and they weren’t pleased, but after talking to us, they let us off with a warning. Good thing we were moving out the next day.
Having fun with so many people. The memories are endless of wonderful times in the student union, the TV room, café, and staying up late.
Professors investing in my life. They helped me develop a framework of relying on the Holy Spirit and thinking theologically no matter what the challenge or difficulty. They prepared me for a future no one can anticipate. I remember their passion in the classroom and soaking up truth from them.
How did CBC help you identify/develop your calling?
I sensed God’s direction to full-time vocational ministry, but I didn’t know any specifics. I came to CBC ready to explore what that meant. CBC provided a cumulative process of chapels, classes, CMF altar times, hall prayers, conversations with friends and professors that gave me confirmation, training, and direction.
How did your experience at CBC prepare you for life after graduation?
The biggest impact came from serving as a volunteer youth leader at Central Assembly while a student at CBC. Mike Rakes, Central’s youth pastor, showed me youth ministry while I was learning more about God, the Bible, preaching, and leadership in the classroom. God used this combination of theoretical and practical training to direct me step by step. I look back and see God’s direction even when I didn’t know what the next week would bring.
The friendships are priceless. I talk regularly to friends from my CBC days. I still learn from them, laugh with them, and cry at times. I can’t imagine my life or history since graduation without these friends.
What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
Get involved in a local church while you are preparing. We are all ministers building God’s kingdom, no matter what your job is.
Get involved in your field of study while at Evangel. Take advantage of practicums, internships, and volunteer opportunities.
Enjoy the friendships. Get to know as many people as possible.
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire a new graduate?
Involvement in your field while at Evangel – volunteer, internship, work experience, etc. What did you do outside the classroom in addition to what you did inside the classroom? Who can I talk to that has worked with you that can tell me about you? If you don’t have some experience in your field of study (and even volunteer experience can be invaluable), I probably wouldn’t hire you. You need to combine the classroom with the real world.