Moody's 2019 commencement season concludes
Starting with our freshmen, who arrive on August 15, students will soon be
on campus, moving their boxes and suitcases, pillows and computers into our residence halls.
Moody students come from across the United States and many from overseas. Some will be living in the United States for the first time, so our international students are given a special orientation. This is a busy month at Moody, but also an exciting one as we meet the students who need your support and hear how God has called them.
Audrianna Cageao, assistant dean of undergraduate admissions and a Moody graduate herself, explained how Moody selects and admits students (nearly 400 freshmen will begin this fall in the undergraduate program).
Like other colleges, we ask for academic records. But we also want to learn the student’s testimony and heart for ministry. Staff members and faculty evaluate applications based on the following areas.
1) Academics (ACT/SAT/GPA): 25 percent
2) References (we require a pastoral reference who speaks to character and future goals): 25 percent
3) Essays (where students express their testimony and ministry intent): 50 percent.
We want to understand how God has gifted each student uniquely. We look at the quality of their ministry involvement over the quantity. We appreciate students who have taken a leadership role in their local ministry, school, or church. And we also realize that each case is unique. We look at students differently depending on how long they have been a believer. Or, if they’re returning to college as an adult, we take into account the wisdom that comes with age.
I enjoy reading the stories on student applications. Moody students come from all over, and they all have different stories. In one day, I can read 30 to 40 applications. One came from an international student living in rural Africa, another from a student in Chicago wanting to minister to victims of
There are difficult stories also. We have students applying to Moody whose parents are not believers. Yet they are so passionate about the gospel. I think that scenario will become more common as the world grows more hostile toward Christianity.
For some students, Moody becomes their family. I’m working with a student right now—if he decides to come, his mom will disown him financially. I want to make sure Moody will support him well.
When I have students who talk about going into an area that is not central to Moody’s mission, like engineering, I steer them somewhere else. We want someone whose heart is really focused on ministry.
As we evaluate applications, there’s a lot of prayer. We realize that every student wants to hear yes from Moody, but we need to think through the best situation for each student.
The decreasing number of high school graduates is presenting challenges for everyone in higher education. But we still have many students who want to do ministry. That hasn’t changed, and it won’t ever change.
Moody fills between 350 and 450 new spots each fall. We get anywhere from 900 to 1,200 applications. Last year our acceptance rate was still around 50 percent of students who applied. Moody is still able to be selective, and each application is read and evaluated by at least three people.
Some may wonder if Moody would change its admission requirements in order to increase numbers. But our standards haven’t changed and will not change. We may be dipping further into our pool of qualified applicants, but all of our students must meet the same requirements.
What Moody is doing is still so important—and needed now more than ever—especially when you consider how higher education is changing. Solid biblical training will become sparser and sparser, and it is really important that Moody sticks to what we’re doing—our vision.
Students are beginning to think about college choices at a younger age. Many start looking for colleges during their sophomore year of high school. They narrow it down to their top four or five choices. So we start having conversations with them early in their high school years.
This is actually a good thing as we get to cultivate a relationship with them earlier and let them know more about Moody. We have conversations about requirements and ministry involvement. We advise them to find a ministry they are passionate about and get plugged in while they are still in high school.
Students are excited about the history of Moody and our ministry in the city. That’s a big part of who we are, and it sets us apart from other schools. We have the advantage of being right here where ministry happens every week.
And students are still really grateful for those who support their education by giving to cover their tuition costs. Whenever we have that first conversation, and you get to be the person who shares with them that tuition is paid for by friends—that’s super exciting.
That gift by our donors makes people feel invested in. They know that ministry training will still be costly and require sacrifice, but they are so encouraged to know someone out there cares enough about their training to invest in them.
For only $60 you can sponsor one Moody student for one day of their ministry preparation. Your gifts to Moody Bible Institute support students like Kristina, who spent her summer interning as a teacher in Ghana.
While still in Ghana, Kristina wrote to her faculty mentor:
“I am helping teachers in the school every day and teaching Bible lessons on Wednesday mornings and Saturday afternoons. Please pray that the children would understand what I am saying, and that God would direct which passages I teach and the words I give. I have been so blessed through my time here already. My heart is full because of God’s blessings poured out on me.”
Will you consider a gift today?
Your gift to Moody can help students like Jessica graduate and immediately put their Bible training to use, sharing Christ in their vocation and beyond!
Whether preparing for a calling as a musician, teacher, pastor, or counselor, Moody students are being equipped to change the world for the good of others and the glory of God. Jessica says, “I have a heart to share the gospel, to show others that deliverance is available to them, and to minister to people outside of the church.”
Will you make an impact in a student’s life today?