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2014 Seminary Alumnus of the Year

The Bethel Seminary Alumni Council unanimously recommended Chaplain John Morris as the 2014 Bethel Seminary Alumnus of the Year, honoring him at a Seminary Alumni Gathering during Homecoming weekend.

Morris is a 1986 graduate of Bethel Seminary St. Paul and earned a Master of Divinity degree. He has pastored several congregations and has served three tours of duty in the Middle East, bringing the gospel to hundreds of soldiers. Morris now serves as Staff Chaplain of the Army National Guard, where hes in charge of recruiting and training the best-qualified chaplains.

Passionate about supporting members of the military and their families, he created Minnesota's "Beyond the Yellow Ribbon" program, which helps re-integrate soldiers into civilian life. In 2008, Congress mandated that the program be the national standard for all returning Guard and Reserve soldiers and their family members.

In his humble address at the Homecoming gathering, Morris said, "I'm proof of how much God can do through a flawed human being. It's not that I'm that powerful, it's that God is that powerful."

Morris, grateful for the foundational education and guidance he received while a seminary student, gives back to Bethel Seminary by generously giving his time to mentor several Bethel Seminary students. This is just one of the many qualities of Morris that President Jay Barnes said, "exemplifies the best of what we hope to be as a Christ-follower."

"Chaplain John Morris has faithfully, courageously, and lovingly lived out what we call excellence at Bethel Seminary," said Ralph Gustafson, executive minster for church relations. "For 3 decades John has been a diligent student and teacher of God's Word. He's been a strong and dynamic servant leader. He's used the talents, gifts, and training God blessed him with to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ through preaching, counseling, mentoring, and teaching, both as a pastor and as a chaplain. John's love for his family and the soldiers he serves is only exceeded by his love for God and desire to see others obediently follow Jesus Christ."