About Ron Marrs

Ron Marrs is presently an Associate Professor of Youth and Pastoral Ministries and Chairman of the Center for Ministry and Leadership at Western Seminary, Portland, OR. Ron is the leader of the Portland Youth Workers Network. He served at Westwood Baptist Church, a Converge church, for 24.5 years primarily as the youth pastor and then as executive/worship pastor. He has been married to Becky for 35 years, has three children and three grandsons. He is an elder at Hinson Baptist Church. He recently completed doctoral research in which he interviewed 26 people about their rookie youth pastor experiences along with 24 of their supervisors.


Why Students Don’t Like School

Students sitting in front of lockers

I was fascinated this year by the book, Why Don’t Students Like School?, by Daniel Willingham, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia.  His research has focused on the brain basis of learning and memory and the application of cognitive psychology to K-16 education. One of the concepts from this book that has…
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Is Your Job Your Calling?

Hikers survey mountains

Recently I asked a asked a couple of friends if I should give up on my campaign to encourage people to stop using the word “calling” in the sense of “finding one’s calling” in the realm of work. They both said “yes.” They agreed that the idea was too ingrained in both the Christian culture…
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6 Most Influential Books: Ron Marrs

Stacks of books with e-reader

The TransformedBlog asked the faculty of Western Seminary to give a brief list of the most influential books (other than the Bible) that they have read. Dr. Ron Marrs lists his six most influential books. 1.  Knowing God by J.I. Packer By far this book has had the most impact on my life.  The truth of…
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Reflections on the Faith, Work, and Economics Conference

Hands holding dirt and a growing plant

I recently attended a conference on faith, work, and economics sponsored by the Kern Foundation’s Economic Wisdom Project in Phoenix, AZ.  It was nice to be in 75 degree weather but even better was the valuable input from pastors and seminary professors who gathered from around the United States. The themes of the Project are…
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What the Bible Actually Says About “Calling”

new level

As a seminary professor, I hear testimonies of “calling” all the time. “I am at seminary because I have been called to __________.” Sometimes the calling is very specific: “I have been called to youth ministry in suburban Portland.”  Or, “I have been called to be a missionary.” Other times, the calling is vague: “I…
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