Advanced Pastoral Degree Students Begin at Northern

This fall, Northern welcomes five students to the Advanced Pastoral Degree Program. These students began their journey at Trinity Christian College and are dual-enrolling at Northern Seminary to complete their Master of Divinity degree. One of them is Sharay Thomas.

Sharay Thomas served our country in the United States Navy from 2010 to 2017 – 4 years in active duty, and 2 years as a reservist in Great Lakes, IL. On her first deployment she was one of only forty women on the USS Carney DDG 64.

Following her time of service, she began to pursue a B.S. in Exercise Science at North Central College to be a personal trainer. Always passionate about both physical and spiritual fitness, she began noticing in her work with clients that most people are open to spiritual conversations when they are pushing themselves physically. She wondered, “Why not combine physical body training with spiritual and soul training?” As she processed these thoughts, she felt a call to ministry.

God changed Sharay’s trajectory when she discovered the Advanced Pastoral Degree Program (APDP) at Northern Seminary. In this program, she is able to complete both her Bachelor’s degree and a Master of Divinity.

Ultimately, Sharay’s heart for God, willingness to serve our country, and passion for both physical and spiritual fitness has led her to pursue a full-time ministry role as a Navy Chaplain. She will be starting classes at Northern full-time this winter.

To hear more of Sharay’s story, check out the podcast Space of Grace on Intellectual Radio.

The APD program at Northern is made possible because of a partnership with the Kern Family Foundation. The program has enrolled 9 students since 2018, with 6 more planning to graduate in 2021, and more in the way! To recommend a student, contact Samantha Jones and Jonathan Brooks.


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