Dr. Dan Gowdy: Following God Wherever He Leads

Mar 20, 2024 | Alumni, The Journey

For Dan Gowdy ’92, Grace Christian University was always part of his life. His parents, John and Mary Lou Gowdy, partners in marriage and ministry, met when Grace was still Milwaukee Bible Institute. Although Dan’s father, a youth pastor, shepherded countless high school graduates to Grace, he encouraged Dan to follow wherever God wanted him whether that be at Grace or not.

“When I was in high school, Dad said something very interesting to me. ‘If you can do anything other than being a pastor you should. But if God is calling you to full-time ministry, you do it with all your heart, soul, and might,’” Dan says. “These words gave me the freedom to follow God’s leading instead of trying to meet others’ expectations for me.”

After high school, Dan attended a school in Illinois for Computer Science. But after the first semester, he felt a “divine nudge” and decided to transfer to Grace. Although a mid-year switch is challenging, he quickly adapted and made friends due to his familiarity with Grace. He was still interested in pursuing Computer Science until a short-term mission trip to Africa during his junior year transformed his perspective. Over the summer, equipped with just a backpack and Bible, Dan and a few friends traveled to three countries and witnessed hundreds of people turn to Christ.

When he returned to Grace, he was changed—he shifted his major to Pastoral Studies.

He didn’t have a plan for his major—but it offered him a deeper understanding of scripture and he desired to go even deeper and learn even more. Dan wanted to be ready for whatever God had in store for him.

Grace’s academic rigor and emphasis on ministry was a stepping stone for Dan as he entered the world with a strong work ethic and faith in God. He was equipped.

“I wouldn’t have planned my professional career to start as a chauffeur for Hope Network. But it did. I hated driving,” Dan says, “At that time, I focused on doing good work and ministering where I was, even if that meant arriving to work at 4am and making coffee for the crew. I resolved to work hard, make a meaningful contribution, and be faithful. By God’s grace I left Hope Network 24 years later as one of its Executive Directors.”


“I focused on doing good work and ministering where I was.”


Dan entered several executive leadership positions including his current role as President/CEO of Wedgewood Christian Services. He may not have been able to predict God’s plan for him, but he was never surprised by God’s guiding hand.

But his involvement with Grace wasn’t over. Today, Dan is a board member, driven by a strong belief in Grace’s mission to “graduate courageous ambassadors for Christ who make an eternal impact wherever they go.” Dan contributes to an institution that molds students into eternal impact-makers.

Now he can give back to a place that gave him so much.


Read more stories like this in The Journey Magazine | Spring 2024 >


Rob Kilgo is a 2021 alumnus and the Assistant to the President.

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