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Student Spotlight: How the MBTS Global Campus allows pastor, business owner, and father to pursue lifelong dream

Posted November 16, 2022 by Brett Fredenberg

Midwestern Seminary recently launched the Global Campus, its newly designed online program for God-called men and women serving in unique kingdom assignments precluding them from pursuing residential studies. Wherever students are called, they can now complete any of Midwestern Seminary’s degree programs however they can.

Midwestern Seminary is dedicating this week to highlighting the mission and stories of the Global Campus and its impact on the Church.

Today, we want to introduce you to one of our Global Campus students, Matt Heerema.

Matt is pursuing his Master of Theological Studies at Midwestern Seminary and serves as a pastor at Stonebrook Community Church in Ames, Iowa. As a father of four daughters, a bivocational pastor, and a business owner, his dream of theological education never seemed possible until he heard of the online educational opportunities through the Global Campus. He recently joined us to answer a few questions about his experience as a Global Campus student.

What is your favorite part of being a Global Campus student? 

The Global Campus has made my 20-year dream of a graduate degree in theology logistically possible for the first time in my life. As a father of four, a pastor, and a business owner, the format and pace of each class is just right. I began the degree hoping to order my theological thoughts, write them out, and have them critiqued. What I wasn’t aware of was the immediate practicality of each of my classes. I’ve been able to take aspects of each class and almost immediately apply them to my local church ministry through discipleship.

Why did you choose to study at Midwestern’s Global Campus?

I have been interested in Midwestern Seminary for years. The For The Church website and national conferences have made me aware of the excellence and energy of Midwestern Seminary. Add to that its physical proximity to my location and it was the school I’d been looking at already. I was just waiting on the opportunity, which the Global Campus finally gave me.
How has the Global Campus further equipped you for your current ministry setting?

The practicum classes have been especially helpful. Having to write on subjects immediately useful to my day-to-day ministry has helped me order and clarify my thoughts. In many cases, I have been able to use some of my assigned reading, writing, and discussion the very same week for leadership development and discipleship efforts in my church. The impact of my engagement with the coursework benefits not only me, but those I’m working with in my church as we discuss some of the same reading and think through some of the same questions together. Several times I have gotten the feedback, “I’m glad you are taking this class, it’s helping me too!” from one of our members.

At the Global Campus, students can study where they are, how they can, fully connected. Which of these values have you resonated with the most during your time in the Global Campus?

The “where you are” and “how you can” are most obvious and most valuable to me. To be able to flex course participation around my ministry and life schedule is the thing that makes pursuing the degree possible. My calling is to my personal devotion and family first, my local church and work second, and anything else must flex around that. The flexibility of the global campus was my signal that the opportunity for deeper study had finally arrived.

To hear more about Matt’s experience, watch the video below. To hear more student stories like Matt’s in the Global Campus, visit here.

Matt Heerema from Midwestern Seminary on Vimeo.

To celebrate the Global Campus, students who apply with code GLOBALCAMPUS by November 18th will receive a free exclusive MBTS hat. Learn more about Global Campus and this application giveaway here.

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