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Contact an Enrollment Counselor

We would love to help you discover if Western Seminary is the right place for you. Our Enrollment Counselors are equipped to answer questions about all of our training programs, visiting campus, the application process, what it's like to be a student at Western, and more. We hope that we will 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. Just click the “Get to Know” links to find out more about each member.

Online Campus

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Phone: 503.517.1800
Toll-Free: 877.517.1800
Fax: 503.517.1801
Address: 5511 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR 97215

Armstrong Hall
Adrian Tijerina
Adrian Tijerina
Enrollment Counselor
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503.517.1861

Get to know me

Where are you originally from?

Everywhere. Born in North Carolina, moved to Hawaii, Texas and everywhere in-between it seems. I landed in California then moved to Colorado for my undergrad degree in Music and now Portland!

How have you benefitted from your training at Western?

My time at Western is helping me understand the true implication and application of Christ-Centered Theology.  I am learning more and more what it means to be a disciple of Jesus, serving our world as His hands and feet.

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

I have a passion for teaching and equipping others as we all grow in our calling in Jesus. I would love to use my training to pastor and serve the church in any way. 

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

All expenses paid? I would love to take a tour of Spain and France, from Madrid to Marseille to Paris. That would be fantastic. Best vacation spot I’ve ever been to would be the black sand beaches of Oahu, beautiful and difficult to explain in words.

What is your favorite movie of all time?

I am not much of a movie watcher…at all…but I would say my absolute favorite is the extended Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Yes, I have done a marathon or two. No, I am not proud of that.

What made you decide to come to Western Seminary?

As I began to grow in my walk with Jesus, I found out that many of the teachers and pastors I began to listen to have ties to Western Seminary. I looked into Western and found that much of the classes focus not only on rigorous study of the Scriptures but also the practical uses of the truths enclosed. The professors are involved with local church and have tremendous field experience. I was able to visit campus and talk with Dr. Gerry Breshears and sit in on a class and I just knew this was where I am supposed to be. I am so glad I am here!

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love to play soccer with my son, make my daughter laugh and to spend time with my amazing wife. I enjoy singing and playing music with my wife when we get a chance. I enjoy doing a bit of audio engineering as well, ask me about it! I would love to talk about it with you! 

What's your favorite quote?

“Spiritual formation is character formation. Everyone gets a spiritual formation. It’s like education. Everyone gets an education; it’s just a matter of which one you get.”

-Dallas Willard 

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

Throughout my life my mother has been a huge influence on me. When I reflect on all my family has been through whether it be divorce, remarriage, loss of my older brother to cancer and so many events in between, my mother has been a woman who shows unconditional love and support. She showed me the love of Jesus through all of our struggles. I get so much of my character from her example and I strive to honor her through loving and serving others.

Why do you think seminary training is necessary?

As a disciple of Jesus and someone who desires to help other people follow Him, I believe it is of the utmost importance to communicate the gospel and the truths of Scripture well. I believe seminary is a unique opportunity to learn and grow with other students as we discuss the Bible and its far reaching application to our world.   

Drew Holmes
Drew Holmes
Enrollment Counselor
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503.517.1808

Get to know me

Where are you originally from?

I am one of the few Portland natives left.  We are becoming more and more rare.

How have you benefited from your training at Western?

I have learned to study Scripture not as information about God but rather as God’s self-revelation and therefore the means by which He engages us and we actually encounter His person and are then changed by that encounter.  Western has taught me what God thinks about me, the world, sin and salvation and how I must live in response to God’s redemption in my life.  And I have learned how to articulate this vibrant, Gospel-centered life to those I minister to.

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

I want to teach the required Bible and Theology classes at a Christian university for students from other majors like Biology, Economics and Art, who are taking them because they have to since they are at a Christian school.  I want to get them excited about knowing and talking about God, encountering Him in His word, and learning to live in intimate relationship with Him.  I want to help them see that literacy in Bible and Theology is necessary for every one seeking to live a life of faith.

If you could have an all-expense paid vacation, where would you go? And what's the best vacation spot you've ever been to or want to go to?

Switzerland!  I love hiking, climbing and beautiful mountains.  There is no better place for those than Switzerland.  Plus it has great food and friendly people, so I’ve heard.  One day I like to see for myself and hike hut to hut.  My favorite place I’ve been? Israel!  Though I went for school and not vacation, there is literally no place like it.  Getting to see the places where all the familiar Bible stories happened changed how I read the Scriptures.

What is your favorite movie of all time?

This question is not answerable.  I am a movie fiend and could never choose just one.  A few favorites by genre - adventure: Sahara; drama: Pride and Prejudice (the new one); classic: Star Wars – Return of the Jedi.

What made you decide to come to Western Seminary?

Some very important people in my life had been encouraging me to pursue seminary because they recognized that God might be calling me to teach.  As I looked at seminaries, I was impressed by Western’s balanced approach between rigorous academic study and real life relational ministry and between responsible, accurate interpretation of Scripture and meaningful contextualization in our contemporary culture.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love hiking, camping and bouldering (a type of rock climbing) with friends, photography, and playing the cello.

What's your favorite quote?

“I am not the man I ought to be, I am not the man I wish to be, and I am not the man I hope to be, but by the grace of God, I am not the man I used to be.”  -John Newton

Besides Jesus, who has had a powerful influence in your life (living or non-living)?

My best friend Richard: the unconditional love and pure delight in each other’s company that we enjoy I have experienced with no one else.  Because of that he is able to speak into my life with freedom and directness and has a remarkable ability to see in me my strengths and weakness, challenging them with grace and yet insightful truth.

Why do you think seminary training is necessary?

In my experience the church has largely failed to properly train believers, so most American Christians are biblically and theologically illiterate.  Pastors and ministry leaders need to be well prepared to teach believers how to think about God, themselves, and salvation, and how to live in relationship with God through prayer and fruitful study of His word.

Keane Collins
Keane Collins
Director of Online Student Services
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503.517.1811

Get to know me

Where are you originally from?

Born in Santa Barbara, California.

How have you benefited from your training at Western?

Western has trained me to understand and apply what God's word says. I used to rely on and apply worldly, pragmatic advice and solutions.

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

I am pursuing a Master of Divinity, hoping to apply it in leading a church, which desires renewal.

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

And what's the best vacation spot you've ever been to or want to go to? I'd like to take my wife through Europe during April.

What is your favorite movie of all time?

The Incredibles (I'm a kid at heart).

What made you decide to come to Western Seminary?

My pastor had taken Greek through the Western Seminary Online campus, so I took Carl Laney's classes online, loved them, and moved to Portland for more.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Go for walks in my neighborhood, go backpacking with my kids, and grow vegetables and roses in my garden.

What's your favorite quote?

“In Him you have been made complete.” Colossians 2:10

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

My wife, who has faithfully loved me for 22 years, whereas my life prior to her had been marked by broken relationships.

Why do you think seminary training is necessary?

To learn to accurately handle God's word, and to gain skill and wisdom in leadership from professors who are also church leaders.

Portland Campus

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 503.517.1800
Toll-Free: 877.517.1800
Fax: 503.517.1801
Address: 5511 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR 97215

Armstrong Hall
Adrian Tijerina
Adrian Tijerina
Enrollment Counselor
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
503.517.1861

Get to know me

Where are you originally from?

Everywhere. Born in North Carolina, moved to Hawaii, Texas and everywhere in-between it seems. I landed in California then moved to Colorado for my undergrad degree in Music and now Portland!

How have you benefitted from your training at Western?

My time at Western is helping me understand the true implication and application of Christ-Centered Theology.  I am learning more and more what it means to be a disciple of Jesus, serving our world as His hands and feet.

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

I have a passion for teaching and equipping others as we all grow in our calling in Jesus. I would love to use my training to pastor and serve the church in any way. 

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

All expenses paid? I would love to take a tour of Spain and France, from Madrid to Marseille to Paris. That would be fantastic. Best vacation spot I’ve ever been to would be the black sand beaches of Oahu, beautiful and difficult to explain in words.

What is your favorite movie of all time?

I am not much of a movie watcher…at all…but I would say my absolute favorite is the extended Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Yes, I have done a marathon or two. No, I am not proud of that.

What made you decide to come to Western Seminary?

As I began to grow in my walk with Jesus, I found out that many of the teachers and pastors I began to listen to have ties to Western Seminary. I looked into Western and found that much of the classes focus not only on rigorous study of the Scriptures but also the practical uses of the truths enclosed. The professors are involved with local church and have tremendous field experience. I was able to visit campus and talk with Dr. Gerry Breshears and sit in on a class and I just knew this was where I am supposed to be. I am so glad I am here!

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love to play soccer with my son, make my daughter laugh and to spend time with my amazing wife. I enjoy singing and playing music with my wife when we get a chance. I enjoy doing a bit of audio engineering as well, ask me about it! I would love to talk about it with you! 

What's your favorite quote?

“Spiritual formation is character formation. Everyone gets a spiritual formation. It’s like education. Everyone gets an education; it’s just a matter of which one you get.”

-Dallas Willard 

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

Throughout my life my mother has been a huge influence on me. When I reflect on all my family has been through whether it be divorce, remarriage, loss of my older brother to cancer and so many events in between, my mother has been a woman who shows unconditional love and support. She showed me the love of Jesus through all of our struggles. I get so much of my character from her example and I strive to honor her through loving and serving others.

Why do you think seminary training is necessary?

As a disciple of Jesus and someone who desires to help other people follow Him, I believe it is of the utmost importance to communicate the gospel and the truths of Scripture well. I believe seminary is a unique opportunity to learn and grow with other students as we discuss the Bible and its far reaching application to our world.   

Carol John
Carol John
Enrollment Counselor
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503.517.1805

Get to know me

Where are you originally from?

Brooklyn, NY (Spread love—that's the Brooklyn way)! But, I should preface, I was born and raised there before it was cool.

How have you benefitted from your training at Western?

One of the best things professors have reminded us of is that it's not only okay to have a life—we should have a life! That's freed me to think more critically about how faith, science, counseling, and humanity all intersect and integrate in real life. It's been special to have that modeled to us by faculty who invite us to engage in life with them. It makes so much of what I'm being trained to do that much more personal and genuine.

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

I thought I knew! Since I started God has been expanding my initial hopes, which is both nerve-racking and exciting. I started out with the hope that I would do counseling overseas with those affected by sex-trafficking. Since then, I've started specializing in children and adolescents and hope to keep exploring ways to connect the church to different cultural communities, even domestically, that have been affected by different kinds of trauma.

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

This would be a wish come true and I would take full advantage of it by country hopping through either Eastern Europe (Lithuania, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Bosnia, Montenegro) or by finding a way to explore the Atlas Mountains and Andalusian Spain. Or maybe exploring Southern African countries. This question is making me day-dream!

What is your favorite movie of all time?

I'm a big Christopher Nolan fan, but to narrow it down I'm going to say the Batman trilogy.

What made you decide to come to Western Seminary?

I was looking for an integrated counseling program that would give me the tools to navigate the field of mental health with my faith. I landed on Western because, even in a last-minute tour, I could tell that they wanted me to find the best possible fit and path forward.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I volunteer with a local ministry fighting trafficking, where I serve as a mentor to teens who keep me 'hip.' I've gotten into refinishing old things, learning to design and sew, collaborating with my husband on a small coffee business, and dancing whenever I can!

What's your favorite quote?

Based on what I quote the most, it's really a series of funny pearls of wisdom from my mom that are hard to write out.

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

Besides my parents, I would say the tag-team efforts of the movie Hotel Rwanda and orphans I met when I was in middle school.

Why do you think seminary training is necessary?

In short, it helps us find in-depth clarity for all of life including work, relationships and community through the lens of our Christian faith. I've found that to be important to both leaders in the church as well as those in other vocations.

Michal Dudrey
Michal Dudrey
Enrollment Counselor
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503.517.1882

Get to know me

Where are you originally from?

A little bit Minnesota, a little bit Nebraska! I've seen more snow in my life than Portland has seen EVER.

How have you benefited from your training at Western?

I have been incredibly blessed by my time here. I am grateful especially that counseling students get to take theology and Bible classes, and I'm thankful for the emphasis on learning how to think critically and integrate psychological science with the core beliefs of Christianity. Along with being challenged to grow in my thinking, I have felt more and more personally anchored in the gospel of Jesus and am grateful that I am being equipped to offer His healing and comfort to my clients.

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

I'm planning to go on to get my counseling license. In my practice, I'd love to partner with a church, and also to continue working with the college population in some capacity. One day I'd love to work with couples. The great thing about a counseling degree is its flexibility.

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

I've done some traveling in Thailand and Japan, and that was pretty sweet! At this point, I think I'd spend about two months with some friends and some books on some tropical island with no internet service and nothing I am required to do, in order to detox my grad-school brain....

What is your favorite movie of all time?

Pride and Prejudice, the 6-hour BBC version, hands down. Other less-dorky favorites are What About Bob?, Les Miserables, and... Well, all the other ones are pretty dorky too.

What made you decide to come to Western Seminary?

After getting a degree in music, I realized what I really wanted was a helping career (even though the starving artist thing is very popular these days). I moved to Portland on a whim after college, and one thing led to another. I lived in a house of four Christian girls, one of whom was getting her MABTS at Western (and who later, through my excellent matchmaking abilities, became my sister-in-law!). Through our social circles, I ended up meeting several people who attended Western, and they were quality (and one of them is now my fiancée... good things happen at Western! How's that for advertising?). Since I was in the midst of a quarter-life crisis, I looked into Western's counseling program more, and it more than exceeded my expectations.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Socialize, catch up with old friends, exercise, road trips to anywhere(!), adventures, painting, people-watching, 80's dancing, sing loud so that my neighbors can hear... you know, the usual. Lately free time isn't free. You gotta steal it from the time you should be doing something responsible and scholarly.

What's your favorite quote?

Too hard! So many!

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

My parents. My dad is an amazing, godly, scholarly man who has forgotten more than most people ever knew. My mom keeps him in line and has all the social graces.

Why do you think seminary training is necessary?

Anytime you are in a helping profession, most especially ministry, you will often find yourself dealing with the messiest pieces of people's lives. You will need to be grounded in what you believe, able to maintain your faith in God's redeeming love and his ultimate control, or you will not be equipped to offer real hope, and are in danger of burning out yourself. Seminary offers a time and place to wrestle with God's word among others with a passion to follow his heart, and can be in incredible place to grow.

Cole Atkinson
Cole Atkinson
Enrollment 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 benefitted from your training at Western?

Oh man, I feel like every day I’m discovering new ways in which I’ve benefitted. 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.

Drew Holmes
Drew Holmes
Enrollment Counselor
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
503.517.1808

Get to know me

Where are you originally from?

I am one of the few Portland natives left.  We are becoming more and more rare.

How have you benefited from your training at Western?

I have learned to study Scripture not as information about God but rather as God’s self-revelation and therefore the means by which He engages us and we actually encounter His person and are then changed by that encounter.  Western has taught me what God thinks about me, the world, sin and salvation and how I must live in response to God’s redemption in my life.  And I have learned how to articulate this vibrant, Gospel-centered life to those I minister to.

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

I want to teach the required Bible and Theology classes at a Christian university for students from other majors like Biology, Economics and Art, who are taking them because they have to since they are at a Christian school.  I want to get them excited about knowing and talking about God, encountering Him in His word, and learning to live in intimate relationship with Him.  I want to help them see that literacy in Bible and Theology is necessary for every one seeking to live a life of faith.

If you could have an all-expense paid vacation, where would you go? And what's the best vacation spot you've ever been to or want to go to?

Switzerland!  I love hiking, climbing and beautiful mountains.  There is no better place for those than Switzerland.  Plus it has great food and friendly people, so I’ve heard.  One day I like to see for myself and hike hut to hut.  My favorite place I’ve been? Israel!  Though I went for school and not vacation, there is literally no place like it.  Getting to see the places where all the familiar Bible stories happened changed how I read the Scriptures.

What is your favorite movie of all time?

This question is not answerable.  I am a movie fiend and could never choose just one.  A few favorites by genre - adventure: Sahara; drama: Pride and Prejudice (the new one); classic: Star Wars – Return of the Jedi.

What made you decide to come to Western Seminary?

Some very important people in my life had been encouraging me to pursue seminary because they recognized that God might be calling me to teach.  As I looked at seminaries, I was impressed by Western’s balanced approach between rigorous academic study and real life relational ministry and between responsible, accurate interpretation of Scripture and meaningful contextualization in our contemporary culture.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love hiking, camping and bouldering (a type of rock climbing) with friends, photography, and playing the cello.

What's your favorite quote?

“I am not the man I ought to be, I am not the man I wish to be, and I am not the man I hope to be, but by the grace of God, I am not the man I used to be.”  -John Newton

Besides Jesus, who has had a powerful influence in your life (living or non-living)?

My best friend Richard: the unconditional love and pure delight in each other’s company that we enjoy I have experienced with no one else.  Because of that he is able to speak into my life with freedom and directness and has a remarkable ability to see in me my strengths and weakness, challenging them with grace and yet insightful truth.

Why do you think seminary training is necessary?

In my experience the church has largely failed to properly train believers, so most American Christians are biblically and theologically illiterate.  Pastors and ministry leaders need to be well prepared to teach believers how to think about God, themselves, and salvation, and how to live in relationship with God through prayer and fruitful study of His word.

David Thommen
David Thommen
Assistant Director, Doctor of Ministry Program
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503.517.1824
Karen Hedinger
Karen Hedinger
Enrollment Counselor for Doctor of Intercultural Studies Program
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503.517.1904

Get to know me

Where are you originally from?

Cleveland, Ohio

How have you benefited from your training at Western?

I benefited from gleaning from my husband's DMiss courses. (We have been missionaries for over 20 years.)

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

n/a (yet)

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

Israel

What is your favorite movie of all time?

I don't really have an all time favorite, but I like Driving Miss Daisy. (I'm not a big movie fan)

What made you decide to come to Western Seminary?

I'm actually working here, but my husband came in 1999 for the DMiss program because it came highly recommended.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Music, exercise, read, visit with people.

What's your favorite quote?

Prov. 14:4a “Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty” Life is messy.

Besides Jesus, who has had a powerful influence in your life (living or non-living)?

My husband

Why do you think seminary training is necessary?

If both professor and student desire spiritual transformation, studying God's Word in deeper ways can help bring that transformation about. Seminary training has also given us tools that we have used to present the truths of God's Word more effectively.

San Jose Campus

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 408.356.6889
Toll-Free: 877.900.6889
Fax: 408.358.2907
Address: 469 El Camino Real, Suite 205
Santa Clara, CA 95050
Amanda Reid
Amanda Reid
Enrollment Team Leader
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408.356.6889 x407

Get to know me

Where are you originally from?

I am originally from Union City, CA, just a few miles north of Western's Milpitas campus location. After spending 4 years in Southern California for college, I relocated to Los Gatos, CA.

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

It's on my bucket list to visit all 30 MLB stadiums. I've visited all the ones in California, so I only have 25 more to go! I would love a trip to visit the remaining baseball parks, preferably when the San Francisco Giants have a game there.

What is your favorite movie of all time?

My ultimate favorite movie is Forrest Gump. I could probably quote the entire movie from memory. It's followed closely by A League of Their Own. I guess I have an appreciation for Tom Hanks?

What made you decide to work at Western Seminary?

I believe that every person has something unique and valuable to contribute to growing the Kingdom of God. I wanted to be a part of something that gives people the skills and knowledge to communicate the Gospel while challenging them to go deeper in their faith. I love and believe in the Mission of Western Seminary, to be a "catalyst and resource for spiritual transformation," and I look forward to helping and being a part of that journey for people considering Western Seminary.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy being around people, usually outside like going on a hike with friends or doing something adventurous. I also enjoy exploring coffee shops and fueling my caffeine habit. I'm also a big sports fan (Go Giants, Warriors, 49ers, and Sharks!) so when I'm not outside exploring, I'm inside cheering on my favorite teams.

What's your favorite quote?

"I don’t believe in strangers, only sinners and the Savior."

Besides Jesus, who has had a powerful influence in your life (living or non-living)?

My grandpa has been the biggest influence on my life. He gave me my first Bible with a note on the first page that reminds me to "Keep Jesus the center of everything you do." He has exemplified a servant heart in everything he does and his faithfulness to the church defines who he is. His almost 90 years of life have been a constant testament to God's faithfulness and His enduring love and grace for us all. He preaches the Gospel with his words and his actions. He is also quite the comedian and makes me laugh harder than anyone I know. Basically, he’s my favorite human, ever.

Why do you think seminary training is necessary?

At the base of it all is my deep-rooted belief in the church. Through my own experience and education, I know that the church and well-trained, Gospel-centered individuals can have a profound impact on someone's relationship with the Lord. Seminary training is necessary to impart knowledge and skills to the next generation of church leaders, pastors, elders, and volunteers.

 

Sacramento Campus

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 916.488.3720
Toll-Free: 800.250.7030
Fax: 916.488.3735
Address: 290 Technology Way, Ste. 200,
Rocklin, CA 95765  
Zack Myers
Zack Myers
Lead Enrollment Counselor
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916.488.3720 x300

Get to know me

Where are you originally from?

Grass Valley, CA. It's a small town about an hour northeast of Sacramento.

How have you benefited from your training at Western?

I think what I have benefitted from the most is thinking about the Church as a redemptive force in the world and what it looks like to engage the culture around us. It has been really interesting to look at how the church has shaped the Western World and how instrumental the church has been in advancing the plight of mankind. The world is a better place because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the work of the Church, so now the question is how we continue that work in a changing world?

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

I am working on my M.Div. and I would would love to eventually get my Ph.D. My desire is to equip the saints and local churches to think biblically about everything so that they will be prepared to be a redemptive force in the world. I truly believe that high school and college students have endless potential to change the world for Christ and I would love to be a part of training and raising up the next generation of leaders, teachers, and evangelists.

What is your favorite movie of all time?

There’s so many good movies! I love (almost) everything Pixar has created (looking at you Good Dinosaur). I also love O Brother, Where Art Thou? That movie is probably my go-to.

What made you decide to come to Western Seminary?

I got my bachelor's degree in Biblical and Theological Studies at Biola and I knew that I wanted to continue my education. I was looking for something local and flexible that would work with raising a young family, and friends and pastors recommended Western. When I began to look into Western, I loved the focus on Christ-centered education and biblical thinking. I also was really impressed by a lot of the faculty and some of the projects they have worked on. Long story short, I came to Western because of its commitment to the Bible, Christ-centered education, and helping each individual student succeed.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love baseball: watching baseball, talking about baseball, playing baseball, reading about baseball... I also love spending time with my wife, daughter, and extended family. I enjoy reading, listening to music, and watching movies. I love camping, backpacking, hammocking, and swimming.

What's your favorite quote?

Oh wow. This one is hard. I have a note in my phone that is full of quotes that I like… I’m going to go with a Tolkien quote from the Return of the King: "'King! Did you hear that? What did I say? The hands of the healer, I said.' And soon the word had gone out from the house that the king was indeed come among them, and after war he brought healing; and the news ran through the City."

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

The list of influential people is too long to give everyone credit. At the top of that list is my wife and parents, who have supported, encouraged, and challenged me to become a more godly man and to constantly seek after Jesus.

Why do you think seminary training is necessary?

I think seminary is important because I think that Christian Education is important. Once upon a time, theology was rightly regarded as "queen of the sciences." This title recognized theology’s importance, influence, and impact on every other field of study and on the way that theology makes every other field practical, and translates it to relate to everyday human life. Apart from contextualizing human knowledge, theology also helps us to understand and communicate God, the Gospel, and the Bible. I think that Seminary equips the Church to not only share the Gospel, but to claim, display, and live under God’s sovereignty over all spheres of life. Seminary helps us prepare ourselves and the Church to redemptively live in the fallen world and to work towards the recreation of all things.

Seattle Teaching Site

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Phone: 253.241.3515
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Derek Hiebert
Derek Hiebert
Site Director
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253.241.3515

Get to know me

Where are you originally from?

I was born in Hood River, OR, but lived in the Grand Coulee Dam area of eastern Washington for most of my childhood and adolescence. I then lived in the Portland, OR metro area for college and first years of married life, then moved to Tacoma, WA where I have lived for eight years with my wife and three kids. So, I guess you could say I'm originally from the Pacific Northwest.

How have you benefited from your training at Western?

Western has given me essential tools of the gospel to bring to bear on the culture, such that I have stronger analytical 'eyes' for the worldview of this age, a deeper affectionate heart for Jesus, a passion for Scripture and a greater awareness of the brokenness of a world that desperately needs the hope of Jesus. Because of this, I am so thankful for the training I received at Western.

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

I graduated with a Master of Arts in Exegetical Theology (now the MABTS). I hope to utilize my training in this to help advance the mission of Jesus through teaching sound biblical theology with a robust gospel-centered missional thrust, both in the local church and in a para-church educational context.

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

I would do a tour of Europe with my wife (who loves traveling!) to explore my German roots, swim in the Mediterranean, enjoy the bread and wine of Italy and visit the sites of renowned theologians and philosophers.

What is your favorite movie of all time?

I'm an old-school classics guy, so first would be "It's a Wonderful Life". The second would be "Casablanca". Both feature two of Hollywood's greatest actors – Jimmy Stewart and Humphrey Bogart.

What made you decide to come to Western Seminary?

I was very interested in Christian academia at the time, and desiring to continue further with a Ph.D. at some point in the future. I was also encouraged by a friend who was a current student at the time. Plus, I heard great things about the teaching and faculty at Western.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to read classic fiction, especially 18th and 19th century stuff; watch a good film and analyze the message and worldview assumptions, play guitar and sing, jog, spend time with my family outdoors; go on dates with my beautiful bride.

What's your favorite quote?

There are too many to pick one favorite, but here's one that caught my eye a while ago: "You only have power over people as long as you don't take everything away from them. But when you've robbed a man of everything, he's no longer in your power - he's free again." –Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

It speaks of the gospel that, in Christ, everything we once held onto for our salvation and identity is being ripped away, and we are free to live a new life – all because of the Son of God who died and was robbed of everything for our sake.

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

Keith Green – 1970s Jesus Movement songwriter, evangelist and prophetic voice

Why do you think seminary training is necessary?

I believe it is necessary for a few reasons: First, if you're called to make disciples, you need training to learn the tools of the gospel. Seminary will provide you with the tools you need to make disciples and further the mission of Jesus. Second, you need to be trained along with a community of learners with whom you can dialogue, grow and pursue greater theological understanding and practice in ministry. Lastly, seminary provides you with amazing practitioners who love Jesus and his church, who are constant learners themselves of the gospel and who are passionate about teaching. For that reason alone, why would you not want to spend time with them?! Seminary provides you with all this, and much more!

 

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