Alumni Highlight: Laura Truitt | BTh 1989

Laura’s Story

Laura grew up in Sitka, Alaska. She had never heard of Portland Bible College or even systematic theology, and Bible college wasn’t in her plans. Then one day at a friend’s house, she happened to pick up a copy of Kevin Conner’s book, Foundations of Christian Doctrine. In her words, “It blew my mind.” She was ravenous for the Word of God and fascinated by the book’s systematic approach to doctrine. Her friend told her about Bible Temple and Portland Bible College, where Kevin Conner was a teacher, and she sent off for a college catalog. After reading it, she applied and was accepted. She still knew very little about the college, and she found herself worrying she might have just accidentally joined a cult.

That summer at a missions camp she happened to overhear someone talking about PBC. She jumped into the conversation and discovered that the speaker was the president of the PBC student body. She was immensely relieved to discover that he seemed normal (and reassuringly un-cult-like). 

Laura arrived in Portland in the fall of 1985 and spent the next four years splitting her time between learning God’s Word and pulling pranks. She graduated in 1989 (“the best class ever”) with her Bachelor’s in Theology and then went on to get her teaching degree from Concordia.

Laura knew that she was called to be a teacher, and she felt a strong call to minister in New York City. Eventually, God opened the doors. Her teaching career began in the South Bronx, in the poorest congressional district in the country: Mott Haven. Known as “Fort Apache,” Mott Haven had the highest homicide rate in the country. Laura taught in the Bronx for the next four years. After that, she worked for six years at a well-known school on the Upper West Side, teaching the children of celebrities, authors, directors, and others. It was a truly multicultural school: in one of her classes, 18 different languages were spoken, and 8 religions were represented. She also volunteered in a number of capacities at Hosanna Christian Fellowship, pastored by Danny and Giselle Bonilla.

After ten years of loving life in New York, Laura felt it was necessary to return to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to her family. Currently, she teaches 3rd grade in the Evergreen Public School system. She attends City Harvest Church, where she serves on the leadership team for Senior Adults and in various other areas as needed. 

Laura says that her time at PBC helped her hear God’s call to be a teacher, taught her how to organize her thoughts, grew her confidence, shaped her identity, surrounded her with a loving community, gave her a safe place to grow into an adult, and gave her mature role models after which she could pattern her own life. Above all, it grounded her in solid theology and good doctrine. Laura credits PBC and the entire Ministers Fellowship International family with changing the whole trajectory of her life.

One of her fondest memories is the class of ’89 celebrating their graduation with silly string while still on the stage.  They might have sprayed faculty members and the entire student body (after allowing Pastor Dick and Sister Edie Iverson to exit safely, of course).

Portland Bible College took all the bits and pieces of the Bible that I had stored inside and wove them into a cohesive whole that I could draw from.  Before I just had pieces of the puzzle, but PBC showed me the whole picture and how the pieces built the whole. As a church college, it also showed me a thriving, healthy church based on a biblical model of leadership.

Laura Truitt

What would you tell current students?

“Don’t neglect the areas of your life that we don’t typically think of as ‘spiritual.’  Learn the lessons of physical health, emotional health, and financial health early and work at applying them to your life.  Spend time thinking and praying in to the person you want to be, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you develop a Rule of Life that will help get you there. If we are in the will of God, we are all in full-time ministry. The only difference is if you are tasked with “equipping the saints” or “doing the work of the ministry.”  We are all vital to the Kingdom of God.”