Derek Warnick

Lexington, Kentucky
Pastor of Discipleship and Evangelism (Community Pastor), Centenary United Methodist Church

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I am a Kentucky native and live happily in the heart of the Bluegrass in Lexington with my lovely wife Anne, young son Theo and cat Topanga. I am fortunate to have gained well-rounded experience through working in the private and public sectors, corporate and nonprofit settings, retail and ministry and even on a the movie set of the 2014 blockbuster Divergent.

Through my extensive volunteer experience, I have been privileged to understand the importance of serving and leading others from different backgrounds and walks of life. This includes leading Young Life for children, coaching youth soccer and basketball and hosting monthly meals with widows and senior women. I also served as an Alpha facilitator in a prison, where I had the pleasure of teaching truths about life, casting a positive vision and preparing participants for life outside of jail.

The wisdom I’ve gained from working with diverse people and settings have prepared me to understand the importance of servant leadership as a University of Dayton MBA student.

What made you decide to choose the University of Dayton’s MBA program?

I have wanted to get my MBA since I graduated from the University of Kentucky. I recently finished a master’s degree in leadership at Asbury Theological Seminary and thought an MBA would really compliment my leadership studies.

The timing, financing and class schedule all worked out perfectly. In fact, I think I had about 36 hours to get my application started, completed and turned in, and my advisor did an awesome job of helping me complete everything! I also really appreciated the rich Marianist heritage and servant-leadership focus of the University. Honestly this was a God-led opportunity, and I just tried to be faithful and run as fast as I could before the door was shut. Thankfully, I just made it!

What has been your experience collaborating with classmates in an online environment?

That has been very positive. The immersion was also a great way to meet folks in person, which I think will strengthen our relationships and conversations when we meet again in the online classroom.

How will this degree move you closer to your long-term career goals?

The MBA is honestly a great, well-rounded degree in leadership. I think this complements my other graduate work around leadership and my calling to engage others through serving them.

What advice do you have for others considering this degree?

If you are coming to learn and grow, this is a great place to be. The University of Dayton is focused on producing servant leaders who desire to become lifelong learners.