Steven Barto, B.S. Psy., M.A. Theology
The name of this blog is changing from theaccidentalpoet.net to theaccidentaltheologian.com. For several months people who log in through the former link will be rerouted to the new format and name.
CHANGE CAN BE RATHER cumbersome. For some, downright painful, depending on the impact resulting from change. I used to avoid change at all cost. First, I realized it would require something different on my part, and that was not in the cards at the time. Second, I didn’t really want to change. So why go through the motions if I was unwilling to invest in what it would take to do things differently? As I grew spiritually, I was also able to grow emotionally. Fear began to leave. I understood that nothing in my life was ever going to change if nothing ever changed! As my self-esteem improved, I began to see who I was in God. I fought God for nearly forty years before deciding to get serious and start listening to Him. And so here I am, with a ministry that is every bit a part of who I am, who I have been, and what I have gone through. I finally feel worthy and qualified to do what God has called me to do.
When I started this blog, I focused on what then was the tag line: ruminations in spirituality, recovery, and creativity. The name The Accidental Poet came to me independent of the unfortunate fact that there are other “Accidental Poet” blogs—however, they are .com sites. When I saw this, I kept the name and used a .net designation. I chose WordPress as my platform, and have had no complaints. I subsequently bought the domain name https://theaccidentalpoet.net. My focus slowly changed as I became a new person in Christ. Initially, my intended career was specific to substance abuse counseling. I completed a B.S. in Psychology at Colorado Christian University through their wonderful online CAGS (College of Adult and Graduate Studies) school. I preferred moving to Lakewood, Colorado and attending classes on their amazing campus under crystal blue skies but it was not an option.
When it came time to decide what to study in graduate school, I initially chose an M.A. in Professional Counseling with a concentration in addictions. However, I began to focus more on theology and church history, with an interest in the Middle East. The terror attacks of 9/11 led to extensive studies in Islamic extremism and history of the caliphates since Mohammad. I wanted to understand Muslim extremism and their hatred for Western civilization. I changed my graduate studies to theology and completed my M.A. in December 2020. My focus for this blog has also changed. Studies in worldviews led to an interest in apologetics (see 1 Pet. 3:15), with a focus on cultural engagement and Christianity in today’s post-Truth, post-Christian society. Christianity for me more than a religion; it is about a relationship with Christ and commitment to living life according to Christian principles. I became involved in Christ-centered addiction counseling, including Celebrate Recovery and the new Recovery Church Movement (1). We have a local chapter of Recovery Church at Christ Wesleyan Church in my hometown.
Although I no longer focus much on creativity on this blog, there is a fairly large collection of poetry from me and others on this site. The title TheAccidentalPoet has served me well for a number of years, but it no longer properly aligns with my ministry. The focus today is on issues regarding theology, spirituality, and psychology, and how these disciplines can best be integrated and used for the betterment mental and spiritual health. I am no expert by any means, but I have seen a great deal of progress in my life and the lives of others who have successfully combined these areas in addressing their issues. It is my hope to foster growth in faith-based counseling, and to contribute to constructive dialog about the Christian faith.