About Rev. Andy

Rev. Andy Torkelson

I was raised in a fundamentalist Baptist environment. My mom was a Sunday school teacher throughout her adult life. She also spent a number of years on various boards and committees within the churches she attended. My dad was a deacon, on and off for many years. A deacon is considered a "spiritual" adviser among the laymen. He was also always involved in working around the churches we attended as a volunteer. This childhood gave me a solid "religious" background.

The fact that I attended Christian schools was the icing on the cake with regard to being marinated in theological themes throughout my youth. In looking back at growing up, it seems I was always involved in questioning what I was hearing in the halls of my church of birth. When I became a teenager, during the socially shifting sands of the late sixties and early seventies, I became disillusioned with the religious doctrine I had been raised in. During these years I read the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I was captivated by the spiritual world it gave me a glimpse of. With that filed somewhere on a shelf in my mind I proceeded to completely rebel against God, in any way, shape or form. Having thrown away the baby with the bath water, I went on to create big challenges in my life during my twenties. I was not the husband I wanted to be, the father I wanted to be and was not getting anywhere vocationally. But I was involved in college, and that environment did open me up to new horizons. Along the way I took classes that examined a wide array of religious and spiritual studies.

Eventually, at 29, I manifested a career in juvenile corrections. Becoming involved with running programs that were designed to evoke change, I was forced to take hard looks at my own life. Having discovered a void within, I tried to "fix" it with psychology, alone. While that discipline helped me gain some insights and understanding of the inner me, I still felt a large hole. Finally my first marriage ended in divorce, which was a catalyst to really go in and start to do some real inner work, which included the beginnings of a spiritual journey.

In 1995, my current wife, Judy introduced me to Religious Science. Even though I really didn't have a grasp of what I was hearing, it felt like I had come home. I knew, on a soul level that I had found my truth. Within a couple of weeks of my first Sunday service I was enrolled in Science of Mind classes. Over the next few years I took the One hundred series and two hundred series Science of Mind classes twice. My teachers were Rev. Alice Ross, and Rev. Christine Jeffers.

After spending time in those classes I took a self discovery class with Rev. Judith Churchman, which took me on a journey of deeper understanding; using traditional, and spiritual, group-counseling techniques, through journaling. My practitioner work was done under Rev. Dr. Carolyn McKeown. She gave me the lessons I needed to fine tune the principles of Science of Mind as it relates to living a spiritually guided life. The Practitioner class brought metaphysics to life for me, in a practical way. While my metaphysical education was taking shape, I was also influenced by programs I was exposed to in my job in juvenile corrections. I received training in, and implemented programs known as Breaking Barriers, Recovery Dynamics and Values Clarification.

My metaphysical education continued in the ministerial portion of Science of Mind classes. Rev. Judith encouraged me to enter into ministerial work and taught the class. I'll always be grateful for her support and wisdom. Now, as someone who is teaching our philosophy, I feel blessed to be continuing my education is this way. I love seeking out, and embracing the wisdom of the ages.