Southeastern University Receives Authorization from the Ohio Department of Higher Education to Operate a Regional Campus in Ohio

Columbus, Ohio, September 14, 2017 – The Ohio Ministry Network, a group of churches and organizations throughout the state of Ohio, is partnering with Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida to offer Bachelor of Science degree programs in Ministry and in Business and Professional Leadership.  The new campus, located in Columbus at the I-71 and Polaris Parkway interchange, is called the SEU Ohio Network Campus.  Ohio Ministry Network and university officials submitted the request for authorization in March to the Ohio Department of Higher Education to begin offering classes in the fall of 2017.    Rev. John Wootton, superintendent of the Ohio Ministry Network churches, saw the need for an accredited educational venue for students preparing for ministry in the state of Ohio many years ago.  Says Wootton, “For decades, Ohio churches have exported some of their best and brightest students to other states to prepare for careers in ministry, business, and other fields.  We could not be more excited to offer our Ohio students an accessible private Christian education right here in Ohio at an incredibly affordable price, with online courses, day and evening classes, and residential student options.”  Although Southeastern University is affiliated with the Assemblies of God denomination, the SEU Ohio Network Campus accepts students from a variety of traditions and backgrounds.

Ana Schmidt, who is already ministering to teens in her hometown, is an SEU Ohio Network Campus student majoring in Ministerial Leadership.  “I am so excited to be a part of the campus and to discover, learn, and grow here,” says Schmidt.  Lily Bartholomew, who took classes last year at Ohio University Lancaster, transferred to SEU this fall because she wants to be equipped to do full-time ministry.  Says Bartholomew, “I am getting a Business and Professional Leadership degree but I plan to use the knowledge I acquire wherever I land.”

According to David Pafford, the Campus Director, the hallmark of the SEU program is a practicum course that students can complete each semester.  The practicum is a bridge between the classroom and the workplace.  Students enroll in a 3-credit hour course and work up to 10 hours per week at a partnering ministry or business.  Says Pafford, “It functions like a mini-internship each semester, and it allows students to gain critical soft-skills that employers value and that can’t be taught in a classroom.”  Students can choose the type of practicum they will complete as well as the location.  Ministry practicum options include emphases in pastoral ministry, student ministry, children and family ministry, media and arts, worship, and chaplaincy.

Travis Sheffler, who was formerly with Career Services at The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law and was recently hired by the SEU Ohio Network Campus as the Business Relations and Recruiting Director, is working to develop partnerships with Ohio businesses to offer practicums that focus on entrepreneurship, marketing, management, and finance.  Sheffler is excited about connecting prospective employers to students at an early stage of their academic pursuits.  One such employer, the Heartland Conference and Retreat Center, which is known for its outdoor education program in central Ohio, has already partnered with the SEU Ohio Network Campus.  Heartland’s Executive Director, Sue Nigh, is delighted to have an SEU student on staff for the fall.  Nigh comments, “We are finding that SEU students are high-quality people who energetically contribute to our mission and goals.  We’re looking forward to hosting many practicum students in the coming years.”

In addition to the two major programs in Ministry and in Business and Professional Leadership, the SEU Ohio Network Campus offers online minor programs in 10 areas: Business, Children’s Ministry, Communications, Criminal Justice, Human Services, Missions and Evangelism, Pastoral Leadership, Psychology, Organizational Leadership, and Youth Ministry.  Campus administrators hope to offer additional degree programs by fall of 2018, which may include a Bachelor of Science in Human Services and a Master of Arts in Ministerial Leadership.  To request more information, visit the SEU Ohio Network Campus’s website at


About Southeastern University

Southeastern University is a Christ-centered institution of higher learning. We are committed to providing a Christian college education designed to equip the next generation to go into the world as influential servant leaders in their careers and their communities. Southeastern University has been training servant leaders since our founding in 1935 and was recently named one of the fastest-growing liberal arts universities in the nation by The Chronicle of Higher Education.  Southeastern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees.