Kirk Vander Molen
Christ’s example and His call to seek out, care for and minister to people in need is clear.
The combination of an M.Div. and M.S.W. has given me a strong foundation to better understand and answer this call. My theological education and pastoral training at Western Seminary provided me the resources to explore my faith, learn from God’s Word, and gain skills in leadership. My M.S.W. provided me a framework to better understand the needs of people and gave me tools and techniques to help them.
After serving as an associate pastor for 4 years, currently I am serving as a director of a ministry called Love INC (In the Name of Christ). Love INC works to mobilize, help and support churches to care for and serve individuals and families in need.
Although I attended Western prior to the start of the M.Div. – M.S.W. program, I would highly recommend the dual track degree for those considering any ministry focus, including being a pastor, counselor or working in outreach.
Miriam De Jong
Since my junior year of high school I have known that God was calling me to full time urban youth ministry.
Although I had gained a great deal of knowledge and training through various conferences and personal experience in urban youth ministry, I wanted more formal training and education.
As I explored a variety of programs, Western’s dual track program stood out above the rest. Not only would it provide me with a strong biblical and theological foundation for ministry, but the social work component would equip me with strong counseling and community development skills that are so desperately needed in our nation’s inner cities.
I was blessed to put these skills into practice through my internship at Camp Tall Turf, a Christian camp serving mostly urban youth. The camp focuses on reconciliation to God, each other, and God’s world. There I directed high school programs seeking to develop Christlike, indigenous servant leaders.
My hope and prayer is that the education and experience of the dual track program will enable me to better serve the community and ministry to which God is calling me.