“I was afraid of picking the wrong thing,” says Paul Pastor about his decision-making horror in high school. “I was afraid of going to college for something that wasn’t me or didn’t matter.”
Today, Paul is working as an editor for two of Christianity Today’s online publications. The rocks and rivers of rural Oregon had been his oyster up to that tense senior-year crossroads of life that we all experience. He dialed his options into a three-way split.
“There was the ministry Paul, who was interested in missions or ministry or something that eternally mattered,” he says. “That Paul wanted to go to Bible school. Then there was the fascinated-by-hard-science Paul, and there was the writing Paul who wanted to be an author.
“I weighed the science option right up to the end, but I realized that I simply wasn’t cut out to be a scientist. Eventually, ministry Paul won the day.”
Growing by leaps and bounds
Whether you ask him about a vibrant life in the dorms or the career paths that school prepared him for, consistent themes in Paul’s story are change and challenge and surprise. “Community life at Multnomah grew me up way more than if I had been living at home,” he says, noting that close quarters bonded him with people who would have otherwise fallen victim to superficial first impressions. He became friends with the most unlikely people, young men and women who remain different but have nevertheless become his true best friends.
And when talking about his teachers, he gets excited.
“I had nothing to compare Multnomah’s academics to at the time,” he says. “But now, in hindsight, if you look at the smaller size of the student body and overall institution and then consider the professors, you see a faculty that is dramatically above – several notches higher than what you might expect at first glance.
“My teachers were always eager and active mentors in my life.”
Bringing a career into focus
Paul finished a bachelor’s degree in Bible and theology in 2008 and has since worked as a whitewater rafting guide in Idaho, a youth leader intern, a waiter and manager at a Thai restaurant, a freelance bike mechanic, an apprentice bike mechanic in a shop, a purveyor of yo-yo water balloons at Portland’s Rose City Festival and several other jobs.
Now a full-time associate editor for Christianity Today, he feels the beginnings of a solid career forming. “Multnomah taught me to live in deep saturation with the Scriptures,” he says, noting that MU also informed his ability to live and work creatively and to engage in awesome relationships on the job, at home and elsewhere.
“If you are peering into your future and see every step of your journey planned out, Multnomah might not be the place for you,” says Paul. “If you need the MBA, and you know you’re going to climb that corporate ladder, then you should do it.”
Paul adds, “I didn’t know exactly what my life was going to look like when I was 17 years old, and Multnomah was perfect for me. This school is a great place for people who want their lives to matter but don’t necessarily know exactly what that is going to look like yet.”