Midwestern Seminary is proud to welcome a new class of presidential interns to campus each year. Each intern has the opportunity to experience the behind-the-scenes of seminary life, study in close proximity with one another and seminary leadership, and grow in their ministry callings. Presidential interns represent the heart of Midwestern Seminary—ministry leaders who exist for the Church. Noah Graves is one such presidential intern who embodies this vision. Noah, who served as a presidential intern during his first year in Kansas City, was recently sent to serve the local church in Fayetteville, AR. We’re excited to introduce him to you in this edition of the Midwestern Magazine.
MBTS: Noah, why did you decide to study at Midwestern Seminary?
Noah Graves: Although I had just graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in Biblical Studies, I still carried an ongoing desire to continue my theological education for the sake of ministry preparation. I found it incredibly important not to neglect this season of growth and preparation; therefore, my wife, Taylor, and I began praying about spending our next season at seminary. We didn’t know much about where the Lord was leading us in the various ministry opportunities; we just both knew that God was calling us to love and lead in His Church. Hence, when we saw the vision and heard the ways Midwestern was equipping students to be used for the Church, we began feeling led to seek more.
So, we took a trip! We got some close friends and spent a fall break during college visiting Midwestern’s campus and spending some time in Kansas City. It did not take long for us to fall in love with both the campus life of Midwestern and the city life of Kansas City. There was an obvious and mutual feeling that God was leading us to uproot our lives and spend a season at Midwestern.
MBTS: What was it like to be a presidential intern at Midwestern Seminary?
NG: Serving under Dr. Allen was one of the greatest honors of my life. To see the vision of Midwestern displayed through the teaching, preaching, and leading of this specific individual affirmed that Midwestern Seminary was where I was supposed to be. This internship allowed me to gain a grander glimpse into the logistics that occur not just in our SBC seminaries, but also into the pastorate. Dr. Allen engages with a variety of students, pastors, and community leaders constantly, of which we got a front row seat and were honored to serve in several capacities as well. The internship even allowed us to obtain a private Pastoral Ministry class taught by Dr. Allen, which served as one of the most formative courses I have taken. He is well-fit to serve our convention through this role, and I cannot think of a greater man to sit under during my seminary preparation.
MBTS: While you were a residential student this past year, you’re planning on moving to Arkansas and continuing as an online student at Midwestern. Tell us about your transition and the ministry you’ll be involved with.
NG: We did not expect to move this soon from Kansas City, but this past summer a church in Fayetteville, AR reached out to us concerning a college ministry position. After months of prayer and counsel, my wife and I felt led to accept it and make the transition. Since I’m committed to obtaining my Master of Divinity from Midwestern, I was blessed to see I was able to continue my degree online. Midwestern offers a Global Campus that allows students to engage in live lectures from anywhere in the world without forfeiting their current ministry assignment. This was both a relief and a gift to me. Although I am disappointed to bid farewell to the seminary relationships I have made, I am confident we are following direction from the Lord while continuing to value my theological education.
MBTS: What are the benefits of being a residential student at Midwestern?
NG: The professors Midwestern has are not only world-class scholars, but they are intentional individuals who desire to pour in to you and your family. The relationships I made with Midwestern faculty and staff were certainly the greatest benefit that I could have received. Whether we were getting coffee before chapel, lunch after class, or discussing questions before our test, I felt valued and loved by those at the seminary.
Alongside that same thought, the residential life is so grand because of the immense amount of students doing life with you! There are a variety of students from a variety of backgrounds in all seasons of life at Midwestern, which makes this campus so special. I truly believe that we made some lifelong friends from spending time on this seminary campus.
MBTS: How has your time at Midwestern deepened your love for the Lord and His Church?
NG: There is a posture of worship that comes from following God through theological education. Whether I am learning the biblical languages, studying for Church History, or writing a sermon for my preaching lab, I am able to rest assured knowing it is all for the glory of the Lord. My reading assignments, research papers, and theological reflections have deepened my love for the Lord, and have also excited me to serve His Church. Every aspect of my interaction with Midwestern has resulted in doxology, for which I am immensely grateful. I would not be able to serve Christ and His Church in such a high capacity if it weren’t for the investment I am making at Midwestern Seminary, and also the investment that Midwestern Seminary is making in me.