Jody Bormuth is a mother, grandmother, wife and college professor in the rugged mountain town of Grants Pass, Oregon. Over the years she has welcomed struggling teens into her home, mentored young women, taught Bible studies and developed a class on gender issues.
But just because Bormuth has been involved in Christian service for over 40 years doesn’t mean that she has left learning behind. “I love academics in the first place, and so learning anything is exciting to me,” she says. That’s why she decided to enroll in MU’s Doctor of Ministry program with a focus in cross-cultural engagement.
Bormuth is now two years into her studies. “I love every part of it,” she says. “[The professors] are genuine and honest, and that is refreshing.”
Discussion and fellowship are regular parts of class which Bormuth thoroughly enjoys. She is continually challenged to listen well to others. “It’s the perfect environment to ask my questions,” Bormuth says. “I learn something from everyone as they share their ideas and thoughts.”
In regards to cross-cultural engagement, Bormuth is learning to interact with those who disagree with her. “It’s all about approaching others with the earnest intent to hear what they have to offer me, rather than the other way around,” she says. “It equalizes all of us as worthy and valuable in God’s image. It has shown me how to approach others in an agreeable and peaceful fashion without compromising my own convictions.”
This leads to a lifestyle of living like Jesus. Bormuth did an in-depth study of the Beatitudes earlier this year, and has since been learning how to apply them in her relationships. “God is teaching me to express to others how counter-cultural Christ was and is,” she says. “We are to be the same way.”
Bormuth is constantly in awe over how God weaves themes together in her life. “It has never failed that when any crisis comes up, something we are studying or learning in school is relevant to the crisis,” she says.
Everything that Bormuth learns is immediately applied to her classroom at Pacific Bible College. Her greatest joy is seeing the “lights come on” in students’ eyes as they grasp one of God’s precious truths for the first time.
“I have taken major themes home with me and not only felt affirmed in what I’d already been teaching, but able to add to it,” she says. “These themes have enhanced my teaching and classroom, not to mention my own spiritual life. It’s caused me to see God as bigger and richer, and to see Christ’s mission on earth as more personal and all-encompassing.”