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    A Matter of Priority

    How four students picked their seminaries.

    Kathy Furlong

    priorities drew these four college students to seminary grad schoolWhile there are many factors to consider when choosing a seminary, it's important to know which criteria are most important to you. Understanding your priorities will help you narrow down your choices and find your best fit.

    From spiritual formation to faculty, from location to cost, these four students share their reasons for deciding on a school.

    As a writer, Natalie Corbin worked on grants for the non-profit sector in Maryland. Then, following God's prompting to return to school, she spent a lot of time in listening prayer, and believes God directed her to Denver. "I attended a preview weekend for prospective students and listened: to hear God, to gain confirmation," she says. "Time and again he returned confirming answers, both directly and indirectly. It was with confidence that I applied to Denver Seminary and began preparations to move to Colorado."

    While obedience to God's direction was primary in Corbin's decision to attend Denver, she also paid attention to the seminary's emphases on academic and spiritual growth. "Rigorous academic programs are partnered with an intentional spiritual formation program that provides an environment of balance between head knowledge and heart knowledge. The two are surely connected and must be pursued together during preparation," she says. As she investigated the school both that weekend and on the web, "it was clear … that Denver Seminary had a very holistic philosophy of education and desired to nurture and nourish each student."

    Now anticipating graduation with a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies (New Testament), she plans to continue writing, with a new focus. "My hope is to produce works through God's leading that will encourage and challenge people to explore God personally, either for the first time or in on-going pursuit of relationship with him," she says.

    Several factors led Matt Green, a Philosophy of Religion major (M.A.), to Denver Seminary. Knowing he wanted to study Philosophy of Religion, program offerings were an important consideration. He was interested in travel courses, and also searched for a school that enjoyed a strong sense of community. He wanted a school that was both denominationally unaffiliated and in close proximity to practical ministry opportunities. Location was also a factor, he says, "as I hoped to be in a place where I could take part in outdoor activities, but also [enjoy] the amenities of urban culture, and ideally be within a day's drive of my home in Montana."

    Green chose Denver because it best fulfilled his varied criteria. In addition to its relative proximity to home, its residential campus community was well situated to enjoy both "the benefits of the Rocky Mountains and the city of Denver." The school's philosophy program was attractive, as were "the diverse offerings in biblical and theological studies with professors who are well respected in their fields," he says. "In this environment, there were also numerous opportunities to get involved in ministry."

    A writer by trade with a background in communications, Green hopes to fuse his writing skills with his graduate education to engage in outreach. His passion, he says, is "to relate the truth of Christianity through the venues of our culture in a way the culture can comprehend."

    "My main intent for seminary was to know my Bible well. God's truth and the gospel of Jesus set people free, period. Jesus did this for me when my world had fallen apart at the age of 30, and I knew I wanted to carry the Lord's hope to others who were hurting."