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Is Moving Across Country for Seminary Worth It? One Family’s Preview

Posted November 6, 2023 by Brett Fredenberg

KANSAS CITY, Mo—Josiah and Rae Durfee were two attendees from this year’s record-breaking Fall Preview Day at Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College on November 3. Far from home and apart from two of their children, the New York-based couple arrived in Kansas City excited to learn more about the residential Master of Divinity program.

Reflecting on the day, they said, “Preview Day gave us a real picture of what life would look like in Kansas City at Midwestern Seminary. Getting to know the staff and students gave us perspective on transitioning to Midwestern Seminary and how to balance the needs of family, work, and school. The day was so helpful!”

Their day on campus began with musical worship led by the North Oak Collective in the Daniel Lee Chapel, followed by a greeting from President Jason Allen.

Allen shared with guests, “It’s a delight to welcome each one of you to campus. Today, you will see for yourself how Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College are institutions built on conviction, mission, and joy. If God is calling you here and you resonate with these priorities, then we would be delighted to partner with you as you prepare for what God will do in you and through you for the rest of your life.”

Following the presidential address, Josiah and Rae had the opportunity to participate in two breakout sessions of their choice. The first session options included a Missions Mock Lecture, Spurgeon College Parents Panel, Marketplace Panel, Worship Ministries Panel, and more. They chose the Biblical Counseling breakout session with Dale Johnson for their first session.

They said, “We chose the biblical counseling session because we had heard about some challenges to biblical counseling in our world and we wanted to get Dr. Johnson’s perspective. Well, we were impressed and very encouraged! His answers throughout were biblical and reassuring, and we left with a greater confidence in God’s Word!”

Following their counseling conversation, they joined Jordan Wilbanks in the For the Church Cohorts breakout session. Other second session options included Accelerate, Athletics, Christian Leadership Mock Lecture, Doctoral, Fusion, and Global Campus.

The Durfees shared about how attending the cohort helped in their decision-making process, “Living in New York, a move to Kansas City with three kids is no small feat. Hearing about the For the Church Cohorts makes moving to Kansas City seem possible, not only from a financial perspective but also from a community perspective.”

Afterward, all attendees gathered for a barbecue lunch and panel Q&A. While they enjoyed one of Kansas City’s top BBQ restaurants, participants heard from current students on how best to prepare for and study at Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College.

During the afternoon, Josiah and Rae participated in a program-specific tour of campus. Their group consisted of prospective residential master’s students while other groups focused on doctoral studies, Global Campus, and more.

The Preview Day experience ended in the Vivion House, where the President’s family lives. President and Mrs. Allen welcomed guests into their home and staff members gave private tours of the newly renovated areas within the home, some of which houses several special artifacts from Charles Spurgeon.

“Visiting the President’s home was an incredible honor,” they said. “Getting to meet with Dr. Allen and his wife was a really special moment that we will never forget. Their hospitality and kindness towards us and the other prospective students were unexpected and delightful.”

The Durfee’s time on campus was filled with encouragement, connection, and clarity, fulfilling their expectations, and making the trip across country worth it. The record-breaking number of attendees for this year’s Fall Preview Day comes in line with another record Fall enrollment at the seminary and college.

Pulliam, who organized the event, commented on how helpful seeing campus is when making a seminary or college decision. In a unique way, he said, the cohort model at Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College makes Preview Day that much more special.

He shared, “Each Preview Day, students meet with cohort leaders and get a foretaste of the community environment that FTC Cohorts and Spurgeon College Cohorts afford our students. Much more than the logistics, students start to build relationships at Preview Day that spill over into the classroom when classes begin. Our staff’s goal is not merely to recruit new students, but to foster new relationships that will impact the Kingdom of Christ for eternity. So often, those relationships begin right here at Preview Day.”

For those interested in attending a Preview Day at Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College, Spring Preview Day is on April 12, 2024. Register today to reserve your spot.

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