Professionals Enjoy Time as Graduate Students at Cedarville

Cedarville offers four different master’s degrees and is looking to add more. The university supplies graduates with master’s degrees in business, nursing and education, along with a seven-year pharmacy program that culminates with a doctorate of pharmacy. Cedarville is also in the process of accepting applications for the inaugural class of the new master’s degree in ministry spearheaded by the school of Biblical and theological studies.

Undergraduate students may wonder what the benefits or disadvantages of attending Cedarville for graduate school are.

Valerie Huber, president of the National Abstinence Education Association, said her master’s degree in education from Cedarville has helped her further develop and fine-tune her own philosophy of education in line with a biblical worldview.

She said Cedarville’s program helped her think through the critical and controversial issues related to the education system and enabled her to see them through the lens of Scripture.

Huber said she was an atypical graduate student because almost everyone else in the program was working in a school setting as either a teacher or administrator.

Huber was intentional, even before she enrolled in Cedarville’s program. She considered going to George Washington University, a school close to where she was living that had an excellent master’s program. She chose Cedarville because it was able to work with her as the atypical student.

When asked if she was happy with her decision to attend Cedarville, Huber said that “someone who is contemplating that needs to weigh (the decision) according to their own situation and goals.”

For Huber, working in the public sector and not having the opportunity to be among other Christians, Cedarville was such a welcoming environment. Huber gained not only the information and education but also a worldview.

“The master’s of education program bolstered and encouraged me in my own personal pursuit and career and gave me really what I needed in terms of Christian community and Christian understanding of tough issues,” Huber said. “You cannot dispel the benefits of what goes far beyond the textbook. It is the part that is not in the textbook that really makes school a positive or negative experience.”

Huber said there was renewed validation, reinforcement and encouragement of her faith during her time in the graduate program at Cedarville.

Gordon Jantzen is pursuing his master’s degree in business administration completely online at Cedarville. He said he chose Cedarville because two of his children have known, experienced and respected the school from an academic perspective.

“At Cedarville University, the graduate programs give you the tools you need to follow your life’s mission,” Jantzen said. “With courses taught through a biblical lens, students learn how their chosen vocation can serve as a platform for individual ministry – which makes any career truly rewarding.”

So far, Jantzen said he has seen many ways that the MBA connects with his career. He said he believes the degree will be able to enhance his role as the director of human resources at a marketing company.

Jantzen said he believes the integration of faith into all areas of life – such as career, family and college degree – is integral.

“Being a Christian is all about finding ways to integrate our faith into those aspects of our lives,” Jantzen said.

Some benefits of attending a private university such as Cedarville are that it boasts academic excellence, a close-knit community, top-notch professors and smaller classes.

Laura Feustel, an accounting graduate student at the University of South Carolina, chose it because of the specificity of the program they had to offer and the type of research she wanted to do in the future.

Feustel said she misses the aspect of Christian influence in the classroom she experienced in her undergraduate studies at Cedarville, but said there are places on campus where she can pursue her faith, such as a faith and scholarship program that meets weekly.

Feustel said because she worked for seven years between graduating from Cedarville and starting graduate school, she has not noticed a sharp contrast between the two experiences.

“While it would be great to make the choice (of graduate schools) based on whether the program integrates faith, at the end of the day, what you are looking for is to get a degree and have a certain job,” Feustel said. “If you can get that job with getting a graduate degree at a faith-based institution, that’s fantastic. It’s really important to go to an institution that will get you to your end goal.”

Feustel wants to be a professor, and to attain this, she said she needs to have the research component, which is heavily emphasized at campuses such as the University of South Carolina.

Convenience of location was one of the main reasons that Adam Clouse, a graduate of the University of Dayton’s MBA program, chose to attend graduate school there, he said.

Clouse, who earned his bachelor’s from Cedarville in 2010, said he attended Dayton because he wanted to continue working during his time in graduate school. Cedarville’s MBA program began this past fall.

Clouse said his faith was not challenged as he attended graduate school because he took advantage of an opportunity to do an independent study and write a term paper on how faith and religion impact financial markets. He said it was important to him to continue working his faith into his studies, and this was not a challenge for him in the classroom.

Clouse said Dayton provided for him what he expected from it. Because he had a secular major, he never encountered any classes that contradicted what he believed personally, he said.

“The University of Dayton program … is going to be more professionally based, and so I didn’t expect to have that faith-based atmosphere,” Clouse said. “Because I didn’t expect it, I didn’t miss it at all either.”

Laura Jani is a junior nursing major and a reporter for Cedars. She enjoys a freshly brewed cup of coffee, learning the Spanish language and traveling to new destinations.

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