Eric felt the call to ministry at age 16. While studying for his bachelor’s degree, he served as a youth pastor of a small church and worked at a Christian camp, the Life for Youth Ranch. He began his professional career in 1996 as a residence director at Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri. In 1999, while finishing his master of divinity degree, he presented a paper for the Society for Pentecostal Studies entitled “No Longer Refugees: Overcoming the Outcast Mentality as an Obstacle to Reaching the Masses.” In 2001 he became the assistant director of residence life at Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) in West Palm Beach, Florida. In 2004 he was promoted to lead the Office of Student Accountability. In this role he assisted many students in crisis and supervised the administration of student disciplinary outcomes for up to 400 conduct cases per academic year. His focus during these years was on redemptive discipline and fostering students’ journey to Christ through that process. He initiated a mentoring program and provided creative sanctioning practices for students in discipline. Overall, the office staff, PBA employee mentors, and student workers, saw several students come to Christ or renew their walk with Him, through redemptive accountability. Today, one of his greatest joys is the relationships he still has with students who in the past were in crisis. In 2006 he was named the Ruth Bamford Award recipient for the Association for Christians in Student Development (ACSD), awarded to professionals with less than fifteen years’ experience and who have given “outstanding contributions to ASCD and the field of Student Development” (www.acsd.org/discover/awards/). In 2009 he published “Want to Change Student Culture on Your Campus? Do the CORE!” in the student development periodical Koinonia. He has presented at conferences on administering redemptive discipline in the college setting, with titles such as “Rescued from Death via Amnesty: A 3-Discipline Model for Life Controlling Behaviors” (National Association of Student Personnel Administrators [NASPA] regional, 2007) and “Engaging Secular Higher Ed with Arresting Grace” (ACSD, 2008). He was also trained as a mediator by the Association for Student Conduct Administration (ASCA) and a certified trainer for B.A.S.I.C.S.: Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students. In 2010 he was appointed Coordinator of Student Missions at PBA and also assigned to provide university sponsored research to Urban Youth Impact (www.urbanyouthimpact.com). The work focused on best practices for assisting inner city youth to succeed. God used that work to stir within Eric a passion for racial equity. While serving in that capacity Eric met, interviewed, and became close friends with his study subjects, many of whom have overcome drug abuse, gang associations, and prison sentences. He feels extremely privileged that God would allow him to know first-hand, so many lives changed by God’s power at work in the inner city. That study has since been published in the journal Social Work & Christianity (2013).
After completing his doctoral dissertation in 2013, he has presented workshops locally on “Characteristics of Biblical Narrative.” He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and in 2015 presented a paper on Greek diminutives in the Gospel of John at the southeastern regional meeting. He has published his doctoral work, Two Can Play that Game: Manipulation, Counter-Manipulation, and Recognition in John 21 through the Eyes of Genesis (Eugene, Oreg: Pickwick, 2016). He is also a member of the Society for Biblical Literature (SBL).
Dr. Lowdermilk is married to Patricia Lowdermilk and together they have three children: Rachel, JonLuc and William, and two grandchildren, LiaMarie and Nico. He loves the outdoors and his hobbies include backpacking, camping, and reading. He is also an avid NASCAR fan.