Cohort Community

Learn Together. For Life.

Two seminary students smiling and having a conversation in class

Welcome to a learning environment where conversations run deep and relationships flourish. It’s all part of our cohort experience, which unites you with the same group of students throughout your time at Portland Seminary.

When you start your program, you’ll join a group of 12 to 20 students led by a faculty guide. You’ll get together for an array of activities at your BridgeWeek intensives and journey through a sequence of courses that includes lively, discussion-based video classes.

As you learn and grow together, you’ll find common ground, honor each other’s differences and experience the fullness of a community knit together by God’s love. And you’ll forge lifelong friendships with ministry leaders who inspire you to make the most of your calling.

Watch video: The Cohort Learning Community at Portland Seminary
Three students from Portland Seminary talking outside downtown Portland

Connect with Our Culture

You’ll sense something special about Portland Seminary’s culture from the moment you join your cohort, a sense of openness and mutual respect that only grows stronger over time. We all have different stories and unique perspectives – and we view them as sources of strength and wisdom.

Kurtley Knight

“The magic of cohort-based learning is the deep relationships that students get to form with professors and each other,” says Kurtley Knight, assistant professor of spiritual formation. “When you're going through a cohort, there’s a depth of relationship that allows you to go deeper and deeper through each class. You get to build trust, you get to build understanding, and that opens the door up for real and honest and vulnerable conversations. That's really conducive to the type of inner work that students need to do.”

Portland Seminary cohorts pray together

Be Guided and Formed

As you seek the voice of the Holy Spirit, the people in your cohort will play a significant role in your spiritual formation. Your professor will guide you to resources that speak directly to your calling and lean into their expertise in a way that’s relevant to your life. And your classmates will listen to your heart and share the joys and challenges of their own spiritual journeys.

Anna Dirkse

“Experiencing spiritual formation together with the same people has been really helpful,” says MDiv student Anna Dirkse. “I feel safe to be who I really am with these people, and I think a big part of why I feel that way is because we've spent so much time together.”

Portland Seminary cohort visiting the coast

Broaden Your Horizons

Portland Seminary includes students from 47 denominations, 40 states and 10 countries, and your cohort will reflect this incredibly rich tapestry. You’ll grapple with difficult questions, engage in discussions that push you out of your comfort zone, and emerge with a more nuanced view of the human condition – all while building relationships that inform your life’s work.

Tammy Dunahoo

“I believe more than ever that people who are following Jesus need to know how to love each other in their differences and make space for appreciating, respecting and valuing the opinions of others that may be very different from their own,” says Tammy Dunahoo, executive dean of Portland Seminary. “That's why I love the beautiful diversity in our faculty and in our student body. That's the picture of the body of Christ.”