Professor Retires from Core Faculty, Will Continue Mentoring Church Leaders

Ron Marrs

Dec. 14, 2023

Ron Marrs, PhD, professor of youth and pastoral ministry, is retiring from his full-time position at the end of December. Though he is leaving his official role as a core faculty member, he will continue his ministry of equipping the next generation of church leaders.

“I hope to spend some time in a ministry endeavor to help pastoral leaders, in addition to remaining at Western as an adjunct professor,” Marrs says.

When Marrs began teaching at Western Seminary in 2003, he came with decades of experience in pastoral ministry, serving over 20 years as a youth pastor at the same church. As a professor of pastoral ministry, he has always seen himself as a ministry practitioner first and a professor second.

“In order to be partners with and for the church, we need to actually be involved ourselves in gospel ministry,” he reflects.

While at Western, Marrs taught ministry classes while leading the MA in Ministry Leadership and serving as the chair for the Center for Ministry Leadership Studies. He remained committed to church ministry during that time, filling in as an interim executive pastor at Hinson Baptist Church, providing leadership to the Portland Youth Workers Network, and helping plant a multi-ethnic church in Northeast Portland, where he currently serves as an elder.

His heart for local church ministry has always been at the center of his efforts as a professor.

“Ron is beloved among students and faculty alike: a humble, Christ-honoring example of what it means to be a seminary professor,” says Josh Mathews, PhD, dean of faculty and vice president of academic affairs.

Marrs reflects on his time at Western with gratitude for the many students he has connected with over the years.

“I enjoyed hearing how students have ministered faithfully in the ministry context God has placed them in, and my one-on-one conversations with students where they trust me to hear about their life journey.”