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An Unexpected Journey

My ministry with Church of the Valley/Little Brown Church began some 35 years ago when I began attending as a congregant. Over the years, I became very involved in church leadership and eventually began working with the young people of the community. During that time, however, my career goal was acting, and I even had some success. Eventually, I became the children’s pastor and held that position for almost two decades. After taking courses in DSF’s Certificate of Ministry Studies program, I was asked to be the Assistant Pastor. The joy that I received from this position compelled me to seek further theological education. With the help of DSF, I was able to enroll in the M.Div. program at San Francisco Theological Seminary at its satellite campus in Pasadena. When that campus closed in my second semester, I transferred to Claremont School of Theology (CST) and graduated with my M.Div. in 2014. I was then made Associate Pastor of my church, returned to CST, and earned my D.Min. in 2017 with a concentration in Interreligious Dialogue.  

After graduating I changed my life’s focus from an acting career to putting all my attention to my congregation. And it was about this time, in 2018, that I was called to be Senior Pastor of my beloved church. In my community, I truly found family. It is with my congregation that I have shared my joys and accomplishments, and it is with them also that I have found my comfort and strength. It was only because of my church family that I was able to get through the loss of my dear husband, Rev. Dr. William Thomas, Jr., in 2020.

Of course, with all the joys of leading a congregation can come some difficulties. I think the biggest challenge that all our churches have recently faced has been the pandemic, being separated from one another and closing our doors for such a long period of time. Coming back from that terrible time has presented challenges such as smaller numbers than before and having to rethink previously long-running activities and ministries that didn’t seem to work anymore.  But with challenges can come new energy and vitality. So, as we move forward, I have been thrilled to watch the leadership at my church reinvent so many aspects of the church while still preserving what has always worked and is still beloved.

I am deeply appreciative to DSF for making my ministry, my career, and my growing life of faith possible. It is because of the generosity of DSF that my life has taken the path that it has. And for that, I am eternally grateful.


Rev. Dr. Michael Kosik currently serves as Senior Pastor at Church of the Valley (Van Nuys, CA) and Little Brown Church (Studio City, CA). His ministry is rather unique as it is one congregation that holds two of its services each Sunday in Studio City and a third in Van Nuys.  Pastor Michael has a passion for building a welcoming and diverse community.


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