Married life and bachelor’s degrees don’t always go hand in hand, but thanks to Multnomah’s DCP program, the two can be united. Christian and Katie Rector met at middle school church camp and started dating their junior year of high school. “We chose to get married young, knowing that it wasn’t a popular decision in our community,” says Katie. “We felt a responsibility to finish school and not just have half-completed degrees. The DCP program sort of fell into our laps and made it possible for us to graduate together, which is an unbelievable gift.”
Katie had attended MU for several undergrad classes, and Christian had popped in to visit a few times. “I was impressed with the culture on campus,” he says, “And when we took our youth group to Multnomah’s annual Spring Thaw, I came home after the weekend and said, ‘I want to go here.’”
It took the couple a year before they realized that it was time to return to school. By then they both had full-time jobs, were youth leaders at their church, and had their own household to run. Thankfully, the DCP program is suited for busy schedules. Christian enrolled in the business management program, and Katie in leadership and ministry. “The one-night-a-week format is helpful, but we have to carefully manage our time outside of those four-hour blocks,” says Christian. “This program grinds intentionality into you.”
Intentional community, in addition to intentional study time, is vital to DCP life. “The cohort is a cool dynamic,” says Christian. “When you join, you join a community. It’s about knowing people more deeply and walking with them through babies, job changes, etc.” Caramel corn competitions are also an essential component, according to Katie and her cohort.
Katie is especially pleased to find that her favorite professors are involved in the DCP program. “The cream of the crop is on board and willing to participate in this program with us,” she says.
And it is not only their words, but also their actions which have made an impact on her. “One evening my professor stopped class to pray for a woman who was in the midst of a deep struggle,” she says. “Through this he showed me his heart in caring for her.”
The combination of Bible and career preparation has been important to Christian. “In class, we have been focusing on bringing the gospel to the workplace: first, through an effective business, and second, as an official messenger of Christ,” he says. “It’s the perfect ‘marriage’ of the two.”
This combination has taught Katie how to worship even in the mundane. “The Lord has showed me that work and study is my ministry right now,” she says. “Even being a wife and doing chores at home is under God’s umbrella; it’s his work, and I get to be a part of it.”
Christian and Katie don’t have solid plans for after graduation, but they look forward to taking a deep breath and starting to think about a house, kids, and maybe even graduate school. “Busyness is a season, and finishing well is the goal,” says Katie.
Note: The business management degree was formerly known as management & ethics. The name was changed January 2016, but the program is the same.