Stories of Transformation


Jace SchwartzMA (Biblical and Theological Studies), Class of 2017

I’m an associate pastor at Vancouver Vineyard Church, a small, humble gathering located in the city where my wife Mikaila (and our baby-on-the-way!) currently live.

Without a doubt, my training at Western has a made an impact on me that’s hard to quantify. The rigorous, academic study prepared me for the long, faithful hours of study which go into prepping lessons and sermons of quality, rich with research, but efficient and dynamic in delivery. . .Western has shown me that the God-given skill to entertain a crowd is not enough to be a faithful pastor. A life of learning, humility, and intentional submission to the word is required of God’s shepherds. Studying at Western has taught me what this looks like, and there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t use at least one skill I honed during my time there.

I love Western for three reasons. First, the size is utterly refreshing. I was able to walk along a fair number of students without ever feeling overwhelmed by the size, and my professors carved out as much time as I wanted to meet up when I had questions. It was personal, intimate, but never uncomfortably so. Second, the commitment to deep study. Every day I was pushed by classmates and professors alike to dig in to my work. There was always someone who humbly understood a little bit more, and who always challenged me to hit the books that much harder. Third, the commitment to the Gospel. Western is unashamedly focused on the person of Jesus, his mission from the Father, and his work now being carried out by the Holy Spirit. I felt challenged every day to focus on what matters.


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Western Seminary is an accredited graduate school founded in 1927. It offers trustworthy and accessible training for gospel-centered transformation at both the graduate credit and personal enrichment levels for those currently serving, or aspiring to serve, in key ministry leadership roles. The Western system consists of four campuses (Portland, OR; San Jose and Sacramento, CA; and Online) and a teaching site (Seattle, WA) that together serve approximately 950 credit students annually.