|McMurry Welcomes Orthodox Students!
Fr. Philip LeMasters, pastor of St. Luke Orthodox Church, has taught Religion at McMurry University in Abilene, TX, for almost twenty years and al serves as Dean of Social Sciences and Religion. He has been very pleased with the openness of the United Methodist-related school to Orthodox believers. Fr. Philip says, “McMurry allowed our parish to worship for our first five years free of charge in the college chapel.” He has led Orthodox prayer services on campus and regularly offers a course in Orthodox Theology. Classes from McMurry and other local universities regularly visit St. Luke to learn more about Eastern Christianity.
Some of Fr. Philip’s former students have converted and not only students are drawn to Orthodoxy. The campus chaplain and a few other colleagues joined him to form a St. Siluoan reading group a few years ago. The Methodism that has shaped McMurry is broadly evangelical and genuinely appreciative of Orthodoxy. Fr. Philip recalls, “I was asked to give the baccalaureate sermon the semester of my ordination to the diaconate, and the University has been supportive in every way of my service of the Church.”
Orthodox students and parents will appreciate McMurry as an undergraduate institution with an emphasis on personal relationships. Classes are small and professors know students by name; it’s hard to get lost in the crowd here. Fr. Philip notes, “We have the ethos of a liberal arts college together with strong pre-professional programs.”
McMurry undergraduates excel in their chosen professions. Successful alums include past presidents of Burger King North America, AT&T Texas, and the American Medical Association, as well as a scientist who was instrumental in developing the BlackBerry device. Fr. Philip directs the University’s honors program, which offers full-tuition and other substantial scholarships to outstanding students. “I am pleased by the success of many of my former students as lawyers, bankers, doctors, dentists, teachers, and research scientists.” Recent graduates are pursuing advanced degrees at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Duke.
St. Luke Orthodox Church, a mission parish of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, is just a few minutes’ drive from campus. Its members include converts and cradle Orthodox of Arab, Greek, and Romanian descent. Fr. Philip comments, “Our mission has the atmosphere of an intergenerational family. Students know that they are welcomed and valued in our parish.”
If you would like more information on McMurry University as a college choice for Orthodox students, please contact Fr. Philip LeMasters: firstname.lastname@example.org.