Steve’s journey toward ordained ministry began with a question.
After graduating from the University of South Dakota (his home state), Steve spent five years living abroad, first as a student at Oxford University (where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar), then as a Hunger Corps Volunteer in Kenya, with Food for the Hungry International.
After returning to the U.S., Steve began to ponder the question of what was he going to do, personally, to feed God’s people.
He continued to pursue answers to this question until he finally realized it was not a question. It was a call to ministry. And it changed his life.
In 2000 Steve graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he won the Presbyterian Leadership Award and the Mary Long Grier-Hugh Davies Prize for Preaching. A lifelong learner, Steve capped his academic aspirations with a Doctor of Ministry degree from Duke Divinity School in 2013.
From his earliest days as a student at Oxford, through his time in Africa, and up to the present moment, Steve has always felt a passion for justice, and for serving disadvantaged people and communities.
As a faith leader, Steve has put this passion to work in a variety of ways. He has helped lead and support campaigns for ordination rights and marriage equality for members of the LGBTQ community. He helped found Christians for a United Community—an interfaith coalition devoted to dismantling the root causes of racism in the Asheville area; and the Creation Care Alliance—a faith-based network of individuals and congregations focused on environmental advocacy and education. And he frequently writes for publication on the intersection of faith, public opinion and public policy.
Steve is married to Robyn Castellani, and together they serve as staff to Annie, an exuberant standard poodle. Apart from his family and his ministry at Warren Wilson Presbyterian, Steve loves the outdoors and is an active cyclist, an occasional whitewater paddler, and an earnest but inexpert birder. In their spare time, he and Robyn also enjoy collaborating on their first novel.
Steve has served as the pastor of the Warren Wilson Church since July 2005. He previously served as an Associate Pastor at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Asheville, and as a Lilly Resident in Parish Ministry at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago.