She eventually enrolled in the seminary and took online courses at home in Christian education. She also served as a part-time children's minister at a Disciples church, tended to Dominic and helped with her husband's consulting business.
The couple then moved to Lexington for his career and for her study. Johnna Mansuetto had been accepted to Lexington Theological Seminary, a Disciples institution. She took care of Dominic during the day and went to classes at night. Her husband commuted to work every day at Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, getting home just in time to take over child-care duties.
With the help of the seminary, Johnna Mansuetto was hired as children's minister at a Disciples church in Frankfort.
"I felt a calling to become a children's minister," she said. "I was still fighting the call to the congregational ministry."
Johnna Mansuetto lost that battle when she did practice preaching.
"It only took two sermons and I knew this what I wanted to do," she said.
The call to Perryville
In the summer of 2007, Johnna Mansuetto was called to Perryville Christian Church to start a career that she had long avoided pursuing.
The church, which has a history of calling seminary students to its pulpit, has an average Sunday attendance of 45 to 50, which she says represents some growth over several years of stagnant attendance.
She is serving as a part-time pastor and continues as a part-time student; she has about two more years left before she receives her master of divinity degree.
Meanwhile, Nick Mansuetto has been employed by a company that allows him to do most of his work at home, and home is now the parsonage next door to Perryville Christian.
"I have no problem at all serving in the role as a pastor's spouse," said Nick Mansuetto. "I think of myself as a pretty dynamic person, as is Johnna, who has had a successful career in my own calling, and I am very comfortable with her being the minister and my being her chief supporter."
Nick Mansuetto has used tips he has received from the husband of the female pastor of the Frankfort church where Johnna served as children's minister and his own idea of what a pastor's spouse should be in shaping his role at Perryville Christian.
"I do the church newsletter, serve on the bylaws review committee, back up our sound system guy, among other things," he said. "I even try to help out in the kitchen, although the women try to shoo me out of there."
With the help of her husband, Johnna Mansuetto says she has thoroughly enjoyed her calling to pastoral ministry and totally loves the church she serves.
"It's a dream gig," she said. "And through the partnership I have had with Nick during our journey together and the support he has been giving me in this part of that journey, this dream is coming true."