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The world is full of people who carry out their daily tasks with mediocrity, but Christians are called to embrace each moment as an opportunity to pursue excellence and as an opportunity to evangelize and grow closer to Christ.

Many people struggle to live out their Christian vocation because they have not been formed in the faith. Religious education is commonly not continued after the reception of Confirmation or RCIA, and people are left to fend for themselves when it comes to learning more about the faith and its application to their lives. When people forget the basis of the teachings of the Church, they lose their ability to witness to others in their lives and it becomes easy to slip into mediocrity.

An education rooted in tradition, dogma, and the teachings of the Church Fathers provides a way for people to overcome mediocrity and fully live out their Christian vocation. Such an education is offered at Christendom’s graduate school.

Greg Pashley, a police officer in Portland, Oregon, received his MA from Christendom’s graduate school in 2016.

“In 2012 I began listening to the Holy Spirit in my life more carefully and believed I needed to try to learn more about the basics of my faith. I wanted to be able to make a sound, joyful explanation for why I was Catholic and wanted to participate more fully in my life as a Christian,” says Pashley. He was also discerning entering the permanent diaconate and was looking for an education which would prepare him for diaconate formation.

He chose Christendom’s graduate school for its solid teaching of the faith, affordability, and rigorous academics.

“The combination of class offerings, schedule, price, and ease of use drew me in at first. The courses appeared to be such straightforward presentations of the Catholic faith with such a solid bibliography, it looked like exactly what I thought I needed,” he explains. “All the professors were so accessible, even to a guy in Oregon. I felt as though I got to know them all through the classes.”

Christendom’s graduate school integrates studies in Sacred Scripture, morality, Church Fathers, philosophy, and tradition to form the whole person and equip students with the tools to transform their lives by knowledge of the truth.

Such an education enabled Pashley to change his life in ways he never imagined, both in his life as a husband and father, as well as in his profession as a police officer.

Pashley is an active part of the community in Portland, including taking part in the annual “Shop with a Cop” program, where students do school shopping with officers (at steep discounts) before the start of a new school year.

“I have been a police officer in Portland for 26 years,” Pashley shares. “Through the years of study and following, as I continue to try to live out my life as a Christian more deeply, there is no doubt that I have become a better police officer. My interactions with the public are totally different. My interactions with co-workers and supervisors are transformed. My approach to police work (and everything else) is based on love of God and love of neighbor. The graduate school played a huge part in helping my faith take rootThe education I received has impacted my life and those around me greatly.”

Pashley was accepted into the diaconate program in Portland soon after his graduation from Christendom and will be ordained as a deacon in the archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, this October.

“My studies set me on a lifelong pursuit of a deeper love of God,” says Pashley. “I have woven my faith into the rest of my life like never before.”

For more information about the graduate school and to learn how catechists, Catholic school teachers, and Directors of Religious Education can save 50% off tuition, go here.

Contributed by Nuala Kelly (’19).

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