Ben Kastaneda

My name is Benjamin Castaneda. I am a pastor at Rincon Mountain Presbyterian Church in Tucson,
Arizona, where I have served since 2013. My primary work is with the Youth and Family ministry of the
church, but I also preach, teach, counsel, and serve the regional presbytery of churches. My wife’s name
is Bethel; we met while I was attending seminary in California. We have four children, all of whom are
five years old or younger. Needless to say, we have our hands full!
I trained for ministry at Westminster Seminary California. I graduated from there in 2012 with a Master
of Divinity degree. While there, I served as a teaching assistant and helped students better understand
Greek. After graduating, my wife and I headed to Kampala, Uganda, to teach for a year at African Bible
University. I taught classes on several different books of the Bible and helped more students to love
Greek! After a year in Uganda, I found a call to pastoral ministry in Arizona. During my time here, God
has matured me in my understanding of his Word and helped me better apply the Scriptures to the
needs of his people.
As for advice, I want to emphasize two character traits that should mark every student of God’s Word:
first, humility. It is easy to take for granted the fact that God has spoken to us in the Bible. However,
God–the God of the universe, the Creator of all things, the one who holds everything in the palm of his
hand–this God has revealed himself to us. He has spoken to us through his Word and given himself to us
in Jesus Christ, and the sheer weight and splendor of this news should leave us in awe and wonder. As
you grow in your understanding of God, there should be less and less place for arrogance or spiritual
The second character trait is teachability. It goes hand-in- hand with humility. The humble person is
someone who is willing and eager to learn new things from God’s Word. I love interacting with
teachable students! The teachable student is charitable toward those with whom he or she disagrees,
always seeking to give others the benefit of the doubt. Thoughtful questions, courteous conversations, a
peaceable spirit–these are the marks of a teachable student. A teachable student is always ready to give
praise to God when he or she stumbles upon some new insight.