Theology Teacher Kuenzi to Pursue Priesthood

Elizabeth Bolin, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Philip Kuenzi is a familiar face that NDA will not be seeing in the halls next year. Kuenzi has taught in the theology department for a year and is now looking into pursuing the seminary to become a Catholic priest.

Kuenzi started out as a substitute last year, even working in some long-term substitute jobs. He applied for the open theology position and got the job. This year, he taught freshman theology and church history along with morality/social justice for the sophomores.

Kuenzi likes the atmosphere at NDA.

“All of the faculty and staff have been very welcoming and friendly and I have enjoyed spending my time with and getting to know the students,” he said.

Kuenzi learned this year that the first year of teaching is the toughest one.

“I spent many evenings and weekends preparing for classes or grading, which was tiring,” he said.  “My best days were when everything went smoothly, the days where I got through my lesson plans, and students turned in homework on time and behaved well. I also learned a great deal about how a school functions day-to-day which will definitely help me in the future.”

Kuenzi is thinking about pursuing religious life in a seminary.

“If everything works out well, then I will be in school again starting in the fall. I have enjoyed teaching, but I realized that I first needed to make my primary vocation (priesthood) a priority.”

Kuenzi will miss the students of NDA and wants to thank them for the experience.

“Remember to be on your best behavior, turn homework in on time, and be respectful of your peers,” he said. “Lastly, I strongly encourage each student to take a significant amount of time to understand, learn and deepen their faith. I have found much greater peace and joy when I spent more time with Jesus Christ, and I hope everybody makes the time for a similar opportunity.”