John Zacchio | CBTS Graduate

by | Mar 29, 2024 | Graduate Testimony, Student Profiles


My name is John Zacchio Jr., and I am married to my wonderful wife Faith Zacchio. Together, we are raising 2 beautiful children (Josiah & Maeve) while we await the arrival of our third child, Owen. We live in Southern California, in San Diego County, where I serve as a pastor of Faith Community Church, Carlsbad. This summer I am graduating with my M.A. in Theological Studies and I want to express how thankful I am for my education at CBTS.

I have the privilege of Pastoring alongside other elders in our church through leading the music ministry, facilitating discipleship (which includes conducting/organizing membership interviews and assimilating new members), and preaching regularly.

It has been an incredible privilege to study at CBTS. God has used this experience to:

  • Grow me in my knowledge of and delight in the person of Jesus Christ. I was encouraged from day one to take in the information I received from professors and process it devotionally. Thus, processing what I learned with God Himself through prayer has caused me to respond to the Lord in worship. “Christ-focused” is a core value of the school, and that was not an empty promise. Christ is magnified in each class. Growing my affection for Christ has caused me to desire His law and preach Christ more passionately and confidently than ever before. I attribute this to the content of each class and the accessibility and pastoral heart of each professor who graciously dealt with me as I peppered them with questions.
  • Grow me in my exegetical and theological acumen. I believe I have been equipped with not only the best resources and books that supply me with sufficient answers to pressing questions in theology, but I have been equipped with the skills necessary to do theology and study scripture well within a confessional framework. After learning under Dr. Decker and Dr. Emadi, I can go to my study of scripture with my Greek New Testament in one hand and the 1689 confession in the other and be confident that I will, by the power of the Holy Spirit, interpret well and feed the sheep the Word of God without having to be overly dependent on commentaries. After learning under Dr. Barcellos, I can look at the whole of scripture and remember that “Subsequent revelation often makes explicit what is only implicit in antecedent revelation” and thereby, lay hold of the revelation of Christ and His promise which unfolds from the Old to the New Testament. After learning under Dr. Waldron, I can make proper distinctions between theological categories, which aids me in exegesis and protects me and fellow church members from old and contemporary errors.
  • Establish Godly friendships and partnerships in the gospel. The in-person modular class resulted in me having an ongoing text thread (representative of our ongoing friendship) with two friends I met at the seminary. These brothers mean so much to me. We call/pray for one another often from our respective states, and I will never be able to separate my seminary experience from the relationships formed with these two men. Grant and Ian, thank you for challenging me and pointing me to Christ— I love and am thankful for you brothers.

This merely scratches the surface of what I learned and took away from my experience.

The most beneficial class had to be Eschatology with Dr. Waldron. It helped me rethink so many things that I was taught growing up in dispensationalism, and I think I truly understand the unfolding story of scripture for the first time in my life.

 I would simply recommend CBTS because of what is offered in the mission statement: Informed Scholarship, Pastoral Heart. This isn’t just a clever marketing slogan used to generate leads for the school. This is a promise upheld by each professor and embodied in each assignment. If you desire to receive an informed scholarship and develop a robust understanding of God and His Word, and if you desire to develop a pastoral heart, learning from practitioners caring for souls in their local churches, then CBTS is for you.

Did you know that you can help us in the training of pastors like John? If you would like to learn more about how you can partner with CBTS to train the next generation of gospel ministers, visit us at

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