Kevin Scalf was teaching religion at Summit Country Day School in Cincinnati when he decided to further his education. “I was ready to seriously search out life’s most complex questions,” he says. Fast-forward 10 years and Scalf finds himself not only more educated, but also teaching in a setting far different than the one he was in a decade ago. As he prepares to be ordained in the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Scalf’s classroom is now in Tanzania, Africa, and his students are priests in a Catholic graduate seminary.
Although Scalf began considering joining the priesthood during his early teaching days, it wasn’t until later he realized God was calling him to continue what he already enjoyed doing, which was teaching, retreat work and inspiring people to embark on religious lives. After earning his Master of Arts in theology in 2001, he went on to gain two additional degrees from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Cincinnati and then the Divinity at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He joined the Missionaries for the Precious Blood for a variety of reasons, but mostly because of its founder, St. Gaspar, who in the 19th century founded a community dedicated to the mission of reconciliation and preaching. “Reconciliation is at the heart of Jesus’ ministry and a virtue that animates my spiritual life,” Scalf says.
Scalf plans to return to a more traditional classroom setting later this summer, joining the faculty at St. Joseph College in Rensselaer, Ind., where he’s also serving as college chaplain. From there, he’s planning to pursue doctoral studies in either theology or higher education administration because there are always more of life’s complex questions to search out.