Prospective Students Should Think Like Alumni Before Choosing a SeminaryBy Mary Hubbard Given
Vice President for Alumni & Church Relations
Most prospective students consider faculty, course offerings, and location while deciding where to study. But there are three compelling reasons that often get overlooked when choosing one seminary over another: alumni, alumni, alumni.
The character of an institution’s alumni community is one of the most important things to be gained by paying to study at one institution over another. In this arena, Fuller has standout credentials.
Fuller is one of the oldest evangelical graduate institutions for the study of theology. That translates into decades of accumulating voices who are part of our theological conversations. We are shaped by generations of eye-witnesses to changes in global culture and in church culture. We are informed by voices that have been around for awhile and have the perspective of the long view.
Fuller is one of the most diverse seminaries in the world. Consequently we have a network that is truly global in location as well as widely diverse in culture, ethnicity, gender, denomination, and vocation. Every year that passes, our circles of connection increase exponentially.
Finally, Fuller’s breadth of study is unique, including theology, psychology, and intercultural studies. This affects our referrals, our access to research, and our experience with integration across disciplines—all working together to form a fully-orbed community.
Fostering the alumni network applies to more than prospective students, of course. Perhaps the most important advice I can give students who are physically attending classes is something many underestimate: Get to know your classmates. Get to know especially those who are different than you are, and with whom you seem to have nothing else in common except sharing the same airspace. I cannot emphasize enough the value of networking and building community while you are in class. Once you are gone, you will long for those who shared these important experiences with you.
Read the story of alumnus Heath Greene (PhD ’03), whose story attests to the importance of forming relationships while you study.