Tellis Chapman ’21
- Degree Program: Master of Arts in Christian Ministries
- Graduation Year: 2021
- Ministry: Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit, MI
“My journey with United began with much enticement from Dr. Harold Hudson [Associate Dean for Doctoral Studies]. It was my aspiration, however, to return to the academy and complete my post-graduate studies. This promise to myself would only come to fruition after getting my children through college and many years of getting my family established. Having started a family early and meeting the demands of family life; pastoring; being an itinerant preacher; community involvement for social justice; and fulfilling roles in the National Baptist Convention, among other exigencies, it took several years to get to this point of fruition.
“My initial encounter with United was an eye-opening experience, as I had not been in the formal academic setting for nearly forty years. The technological advances and agencies associated with information acquisition took some serious acclimatization on my behalf, as I desired to exemplify it is never too late to learn more and hone one’s artistries. Moreover, I fulfilled my personal commitment and acquired my master’s degree, thanks to a wonderful institution and support group.
“During my time of matriculation at United, I met the most qualified staff and administrators who made my goal even more achievable. The atmosphere was always conducive for enlightening dialogical exchange between students, instructors and individuals of various ethnicity and denominational persuasions. Consequently, my interaction with some faculty members and students has progressed from fellow student engagement to meaningful friendships. I can genuinely exclaim I am a much better person and a more prepared preacher, writer and pastor as a result of my enrollment as a student, and my emergence as a graduate.”
“In retrospect, the commanding adjustment from a thirty-seven year hiatus from the academic world; the hundreds of miles of commuting from Michigan to Dayton; the demand to meet the time-consuming reading, writing, research and thesis deadlines; the several weeks of intensives; and meeting the arduous budget, I am indebted to Dr. Hudson for his consistent encouragement and will be forever grateful to the many others who invested their time and sacrifice for me to have this life-changing experience.”