Mid-America Christian University has named one of its long-time professors, Dr. Justin Key, as the next Chair of the MACU School of Ministry.
“To be named ‘Chair’ of the School of Ministry is an honor,” Key said. “MACU has such a devoted history and heritage of training students for full-time vocational ministry in the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.), the larger Wesleyan tradition and beyond. The School of Ministry looks forward to maintaining that commitment and remaining faithful to Christ in the study, proclamation and application of God’s Word. Our greatest goal is to see students spiritually formed to be like Christ, able to teach and preach, care, think and lead in the life of the church.”
Having grown up in the Church of God (Anderson, IN), Key first came to MACU as a student in 2001, describing the experience as “transformative.” After completing seminary in 2007, he taught online courses at MACU while serving in ministry. In 2012, he made the transition to teaching full-time.
“When I was a student at MACU, the classroom experience with full-time, devoted professors; the lifelong friendships I formed; and the mentoring and practices and experiences I received were invaluable. When I became a professor 10 years ago, my greatest desire was to provide the same experience to our students in whatever way I could.”
Notably, Key currently oversees MACU’s “Practicum in Pastoral Care” class. The honors-level course is a clinical training experience available to students who have completed a significant amount of coursework in Bible, theology and ministry. In a blended format, students receive classroom instruction on the various aspects of pastoral caregiving and then travel to partner hospitals to offer spiritual care to patients and their families.
Key was part of the very first practicum course as a student in 2004, in which more than 275 students have made over 30,000 caregiving contacts since then. Currently, MACU is partnered with Bethany Children’s Health Center, OU Medical Center, Crossings Community Clinic, and beginning this spring, the local YMCA for practicums and internships in pastoral care.
“Dr. Key is not only highly qualified to lead our School of Ministry – he is a beloved member of the MACU and Church of God family,” said MACU President Phil Greenwald. “Since his time at MACU as a student to his current role as an esteemed faculty member, Dr. Key has made an incredible impact on this University and our students. MACU’s School of Ministry has a bright future ahead with Dr. Key serving as Chair.”
Key succeeds Dr. Cliff Sanders, who retired from MACU in April 2021 after almost three decades of service. Dr. Mike Sanders, Professor in the MACU School of Ministry, served as interim chair following his retirement from Warner University, where he served in various positions during his 31 years, completing as the Associate Academic Dean and Professor of Christian Formation.
Key earned his Bachelor of Arts in Bible-Theology and Pastoral Ministry from MACU in 2004. He went on to earn his Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary in 2007. This year, Key completed his Doctorate of Philosophy in Pastoral Studies with Early Church History with Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 2007, he was ordained as a Church of God (Anderson, Ind.) minister. He attends Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City, where he has been involved in Stephen Ministry and Children’s Ministry.