discussion over coffee

Contact an Admissions Counselor

Contact an Admissions Counselor

We'd love to help you discover if Western Seminary is the right place for you. Our Admissions Counselors are equipped to answer your questions about our training programs, visiting campus, the application process, what it's like to be a student at Western, and more. We hope that we'll be able to come alongside you in the transition to seminary life.

Select your preferred study location below to find contact information for the staff member at that location who can best meet your needs. 

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Portland & Online

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 503.517.1800
Address: 5511 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR 97215

Armstrong Hall
Cole Atkinson
Cole Atkinson
Admissions Counselor
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503.517.1825

Get to know me

Where are you originally from?

Small town eastern Washington, Moses Lake to be exact. I’m loving life here in the city but I think I’m most at home in the countryside.

How have you benefited from your training at Western?

Oh man, I feel like every day I’m discovering new ways in which I’ve benefited. I can honestly say that I have been blown away by every class that I’ve taken. I remember coming out of my first class and thanking God over and over and over again for this school. Just as much as Western has gifted me knowledge, it has shaped my character. The staff is not just highly intelligent, they are incredibly thoughtful and wonderfully faithful. It seems impossible not to come away deeply impacted in your person after spending time around the faculty here. They teach with their lives, and it has challenged me and encouraged me to be a better lover of God and a better lover of people!

What do you want to do with the degree program you are pursuing?

I’d love to end up in a pastorate role, that’s the dream. I love teaching, preaching, counseling and being with people. To have an opportunity to reveal the goodness of God in all His infinite facets would be the most fulfilling thing in the world. Teaching Bible to high school students comes in at a close second; making theology accessible to the youth is an exciting prospect.

If you could have an all-expense paid vacation, where would you go?

Well as long as we’re dealing in hypotheticals I’d go for an “Around-The-World” vacation so I can visit as many places as possible. I’m a huge fan of world travel and it’s just too difficult to pick any one place! So I’ll pick a few: Japan, Montenegro, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, China and end up in Seychelles for some R&R.

What is your favorite movie of all time?

Favorite is such a strong word, but I think that outside of Dumb and Dumber I’ve probably watched Inception the most out of any movie.

What made you decide to come to Western Seminary?

After college I was pretty lost. I had a degree I didn’t like and didn’t care to use and had no idea where to go from there. I spent a few years working on my relationship with the Lord and going through an intense discipleship process. Through my process, I realized that ministry was all I wanted to do with my life. Not that you can’t make your life ministry outside of a formal capacity, yet I couldn’t get the idea out of my brain. I wanted more than anything to not just learn about God, but to help others come to see just how wonderful and beautiful and awesome our God is. Western seemed like absolutely the best place to get help me get the academic and spiritual education I wanted (and needed!)

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love to play soccer, go hiking (during the few nice months in Portland), watch movies, go out for food or coffee, or join in the occasional video game. Anything, really. I just like to be with friends.

What's your favorite quote?

I end up quoting a lot of Community, but one of the first quotes that ever really struck a chord with my life came out of C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity: “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”

Who has had a powerful influence in your life (living or non-living)?

My parents to be sure, I couldn’t be more thankful to them for the way they have shaped me. The mentors and leaders at Portland Fellowship have given me a new lease on life and I’m eternally grateful. John Piper revolutionized how I see God and continues to have a strong influence on me and my family. I’ve also picked up a few influential characters from beyond the grave, including C. S. Lewis and Oswald Chambers.

Why do you think seminary training is necessary?

Randy Roberts once gave the analogy that Christian leaders are like “surgeons and doctors for the soul.” We all want our physical doctors to be well trained so that they can rightly diagnose our hurts and operate on our bodies, so we wouldn’t want those who operate on our heart and soul to be well trained also? Personally, I want to do everything that I can to better learn how to love God and love others well, and that includes learning from those who have dedicated their life to understanding the Bible and what it means to live out God’s Word.

Jane Carter
Jane Carter
Admissions Counselor
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
503.517.1824

Get to know me

Where are you originally from?

For the first 12 years of my life, I lived in Camarillo, California - a sleepy little town in Ventura County. My parents followed a dream given by God to build a homestead in Boring, Oregon. They built the house and farm and soon we were surrounded by all kinds of animals, a huge vegetable garden and an orchard. My teen years felt like "Little House on the Prairie." It was a drastic move that forever changed our lives and led my entire family to Christ. We actually all were baptized together one Resurrection Sunday, just like in the book of Acts!

If you could have an all-expense paid vacation, where would you go?

I'd go back to Israel! I have been there twice with Ha Yovel, spending the majority of my time in Judea and Samaria (what the world calls the "West Bank") over the five weeks of tourism, agricultural work and beautiful interactions with the locals. 

What is your favorite movie of all time?

I love the powerful imagery of "Life is Beautiful" (Robert Benigni, 1997). The main character plays the part of a pauper but is a prince at heart, using humor and beauty and music to keep hearts hopeful during the Holocaust. I too, am a huge "Lord of the Rings" fan (of course, the extended version!). But there is a strange side of me that just loves Bruce Willis in "RED" - I just laugh so much every time I see it!

What made you decide to come to Western Seminary?

I studied at Oregon State University (Go, Beavs!) earning a BS in social science education and one year of graduate work in education. I home-schooled my kids all the way to college and completed my volunteer work with American Heritage Girls, freeing me up to work. I had been praying about this and literally sensed God say, "Western Seminary." So, I looked online, seeing the job for Admissions Counselor and thought, "Yeah... I could do that!" The rest is history. 

I can honestly say it is a privilege to stand in this sacred place of helping believers worldwide as they step into seminary for the sake of the Kingdom. I treasure reading the applicants' testimonies and hearing their dreams and goals. And I love it when we can pray together! (Ask me if you want to do this!)

I am now enrolled as a Master of Divinity student, fulfilling a dream over 35 years to study theology. I'm delighted to have an opportunity to study here and hope to become a chaplain.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I have many joys: worship, Bible study, playing piano, reading, paper crafts (scrapbooking and card making mostly), floral gardening, camping, Israeli dancing. My husband and I enjoy watching "The Chosen", taking road trips (just finished visiting all the county courthouses in Oregon!), going for walks, and playing card games. Shabbat is an integral part of our week enjoyed with a lovely dinner of traditions on Friday and a meeting with friends on Saturday to talk about the Bible. We are also attending Real Life Foursquare Church in Vancouver, WA.

What's your favorite quote?

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."

Who has had a powerful influence in your life (living or non-living)?

Ken & Jackie Meier are a married couple who served as youth group leaders of our little Baptist church in Boring. I treasure the way my "spiritual parents" fielded my curious questions about scripture and conundrums about how to live out my faith. They spent time writing dozens of notes to me that I still have today. They aptly filled a vast hole in which I lacked knowledge, wisdom, unconditional love, and role models. 

Additionally, I am deeply touched by my "adopted" mom, LaVerna Ruckman, who is the most generous and kind person I know. She consistently thinks of others, coming up with ingenious ways to bless them with her talents and resources. I cannot look anywhere in my life and not see her touch of grace on it!

Why do you think seminary training is necessary?

I believe it is crucial for believers to challenge their paradigms and be intentionally sharpened through loving mentors. There's too much fluff and secular rhetoric out there that sidetracks believers and non-believers. The Kingdom needs people who will train themselves to be excellent intellectually and spiritually - to gain souls, but also to disciple the souls that have been won over to the Kingdom. We need people who will love the Lord with all their hearts, souls, AND minds.

San Jose

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 408.356.6889
Address: 1000 South Park Victoria Dr. Milpitas, CA 95035
Lara Hutchison
Lara Hutchison
Community Engagement and Connection Coordinator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
916.488.3720 x310

Get to know me

Where are you originally from?

I am originally from San Diego area and now reside in Auburn, CA. I am a California girl through and through!

How have you benefited from your training at Western?

Where do I begin? I have made such amazing friendships through this program that I hope to take with me after I graduate. We will be each other’s referrals as counselors and that is so vital when starting out. I also have greatly benefitted from the experiences my professors share in the classroom. They bring their experience into their teaching so that we can learn from their successes and their mistakes. I appreciate this because the counseling world can seem so intimidating to enter.

What do you want to do with the degree program you are pursuing?

I am working on my Master of Arts in Counseling with an Addiction Counseling specialization. I am open to where God leads me to, but I can see myself working in the non-profit agency arena working with young women who have experienced trauma. I would also love to see myself become a clinical director someday.

If you could have an all-expense paid vacation, where would you go?

I would love to go to the United Kingdom, and you know... just stay there!

What is your favorite movie of all time?

Hmm, not going to limit myself to just one here. I love the 5-hour BBC version of Pride & Prejudice. Give me all the afternoon tea and scones! I also have a family favorite movie of Muppet Treasure Island... yes, very different vibe from Jane Austen.

What made you decide to come to Western Seminary?

I was looking at a few different counseling programs in the area at the time, but Western stood out for me because of the true integration of faith and counseling practice. This is something that you can't find in most programs, but Western does it so well. I also loved the ability to hear from professors who are active in the field and bring so much experience into the classroom. I loved how intimate classes were as well. I came from giant classes at UC San Diego, so it was refreshing to know my classmates and my professors well. Lastly, from a practical standpoint, I loved that I could go to school and work at the same time.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love hosting friends and have them test out new recipes, whether it be baking, cooking, or beverages! When I get around to it, I love reading fiction books. My husband, Colin, is a movie & show buff so sometimes (ok, often) you can find me kicking back watching a show with him. In the summertime, I love going rafting with Colin on the American River or just swimming in the pool on those hot days. I also love going for a good relaxing walk while listening to a podcast.

What's your favorite quote?

"Comparison is the thief of Joy." - Theodore Roosevelt

Who has had a powerful influence in your life (living or non-living)?

My parents truly have been such a wonderful influence for me, and I am so grateful because I know not everyone has that same experience. I am also so grateful to my dance instructor I had growing up, Debbi Sampson. As a highly insecure and anxious teenager, she helped me learn how to believe in myself!

Why do you think seminary training is necessary?

While practical experience is so helpful, I am finding more and more how important and critical it is to have a foundational understanding of theology and the Bible. Every Bible and theology class I have taken has further enlightened my understanding of God and his purpose for us! In a world where we have friends and family members begin to deconstruct their faith, it's important to ask the question of why? Not everyone needs to get their Master of Divinity, but it is critical that we as leaders in the church receive the foundational training to discern & convey the true heart of God to help those struggling in their faith or exploring their faith for the first time.

Sacramento

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 916.488.3720
Address: 8150 Industrial Ave. Building D, Suite 250-D
Roseville, CA 95678 
Lara Hutchison
Lara Hutchison
Community Engagement and Connection Coordinator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
916.488.3720 x310

Get to know me

Where are you originally from?

I am originally from San Diego area and now reside in Auburn, CA. I am a California girl through and through!

How have you benefited from your training at Western?

Where do I begin? I have made such amazing friendships through this program that I hope to take with me after I graduate. We will be each other’s referrals as counselors and that is so vital when starting out. I also have greatly benefitted from the experiences my professors share in the classroom. They bring their experience into their teaching so that we can learn from their successes and their mistakes. I appreciate this because the counseling world can seem so intimidating to enter.

What do you want to do with the degree program you are pursuing?

I am working on my Master of Arts in Counseling with an Addiction Counseling specialization. I am open to where God leads me to, but I can see myself working in the non-profit agency arena working with young women who have experienced trauma. I would also love to see myself become a clinical director someday.

If you could have an all-expense paid vacation, where would you go?

I would love to go to the United Kingdom, and you know... just stay there!

What is your favorite movie of all time?

Hmm, not going to limit myself to just one here. I love the 5-hour BBC version of Pride & Prejudice. Give me all the afternoon tea and scones! I also have a family favorite movie of Muppet Treasure Island... yes, very different vibe from Jane Austen.

What made you decide to come to Western Seminary?

I was looking at a few different counseling programs in the area at the time, but Western stood out for me because of the true integration of faith and counseling practice. This is something that you can't find in most programs, but Western does it so well. I also loved the ability to hear from professors who are active in the field and bring so much experience into the classroom. I loved how intimate classes were as well. I came from giant classes at UC San Diego, so it was refreshing to know my classmates and my professors well. Lastly, from a practical standpoint, I loved that I could go to school and work at the same time.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love hosting friends and have them test out new recipes, whether it be baking, cooking, or beverages! When I get around to it, I love reading fiction books. My husband, Colin, is a movie & show buff so sometimes (ok, often) you can find me kicking back watching a show with him. In the summertime, I love going rafting with Colin on the American River or just swimming in the pool on those hot days. I also love going for a good relaxing walk while listening to a podcast.

What's your favorite quote?

"Comparison is the thief of Joy." - Theodore Roosevelt

Who has had a powerful influence in your life (living or non-living)?

My parents truly have been such a wonderful influence for me, and I am so grateful because I know not everyone has that same experience. I am also so grateful to my dance instructor I had growing up, Debbi Sampson. As a highly insecure and anxious teenager, she helped me learn how to believe in myself!

Why do you think seminary training is necessary?

While practical experience is so helpful, I am finding more and more how important and critical it is to have a foundational understanding of theology and the Bible. Every Bible and theology class I have taken has further enlightened my understanding of God and his purpose for us! In a world where we have friends and family members begin to deconstruct their faith, it's important to ask the question of why? Not everyone needs to get their Master of Divinity, but it is critical that we as leaders in the church receive the foundational training to discern & convey the true heart of God to help those struggling in their faith or exploring their faith for the first time.