Joshua Harris, lead pastor of Covenant Life Church announced Sunday that he would be stepping down from his position in the spring in order to attend seminary at Regent College in Vancouver. Harris never received formal seminary training; the lead pastor of 10 years had been trained on the job by C.J. Mahaney.
The 3,000-member Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland had made national headlines in recent years as a former member was charged with molesting four teenage boys decades earlier. Harris referenced this in his speech saying, “And even though these past four years in particular have been painful and difficult, I believe that everything—stepping away from Sovereign Grace, the pruning of our church, strained relationships and even the lawsuit—has all been used by God to refine us. God has used it for good.
“We have needed to repent and change in many ways and that is an ongoing process.”
Covenant Life Church elders wrote the following statement: “As preparation for fruitfulness in the next years of his ministry, Joshua believes he needs to step away from the responsibilities of senior leadership and seek to grow through formal studies.”
The church elders expressed their support for Harris and well wishes as he furthers his education.
Publication date: January 26, 2015