Mike Ralph

Masters of Divinity '13

I came to Fuller immediately out of my undergraduate studies. I was 22 years old, knowing only that God was calling me to ministry. In college I was a Young Life leader for years, and in serving there, it had gradually dawned on me that I wanted to pursue ministry as a career. I began to research seminaries across the country, and had strongly considered Fuller, but felt that I needed to stay in Phoenix. It was a month or two later, as I was struggling to decide where to go, when I discovered that Fuller had a campus in Phoenix. From that point on my choice was clear-I did not bother to apply anywhere else.

My years at Fuller Southwest brought invaluable learning and relationships into my life. The small class sizes and close-knit community of a smaller campus, combined with the quality, resources, and reputation of the larger Fuller community, was absolutely ideal. Yet most impressive of all was the school's genuine desire that its students would leave not just with knowledge, but with a closer relationship with Christ. We studied to the end that we would not just know more, but that we would fall more deeply in love with God.

Three months before graduation, I was hired by a wonderful church called Mission Community Church in Gilbert, Arizona. I pastor a ministry of nearly 500 students there. A combination of church and para-church experience in youth ministry has certainly prepared me to do this ministry, but my experience at Fuller has imbued my leadership with deeper, more important qualities, most notably an abiding belief in the power of Scripture that permeates everything I do. I think, without Fuller, I would likely just be running a program. But Fuller has taught that who I am in Christ is more important than anything I do. I cannot imagine doing what I am doing without the transformative experience of seminary. It was essential to the person God is shaping me to be.

(626) 584-5200
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135 N. Oakland Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91182