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Billy Dennis, Alumnus

Billy DennisI received my MALS degree at 45 years of age. I have been a pastor for over 20 years. I began the program while serving a church in Raleigh and was able to complete my degree with online classes after moving to Dare County two years ago. I live in Manteo with my wife and 2 high school age children. I am pastor of Manteo Faith Baptist Church (since January, 2010).

I received my undergraduate from Campbell University in Psychology (minor in Business Administration) in 1988.  I attended Southeastern Seminary and Wingate University as a PBS. In 2006 I graduated from the Pastoral Care In Community program at Duke Divinity School, and began MALS in 2007. I really enjoyed the MALS Seminars and took several classes in Counseling at NCSU.

My Concentration was “Pastoral Care and Community Advocacy.” My advisor was Sylvia Nassar-McMillan from Counseling. She was wonderful – as were all of the professors I had at NCSU. My project was “Homelessness in Dare County.” I really got to know the homeless population here in Dare County and am trying to raise awareness of the need for a permanent shelter by distributing over 50 DVDs to churches and civic and governmental leaders here. The DVD was the project. It includes a 6-minute long promotional segment which is intended to raise awareness of the problem and promote our Room In The Inn program which provides temporary shelter during the winter months. The DVDs also include interviews with a homeless gentleman, the Manteo Police Chief, and the Coordinator for Room in the Inn. The promotional video is available to view here:

MALS was a perfect match for me! It gave me flexibility as a busy professional. It also gave me great breadth in my academic courses. I was able to take political science, social work, counseling, research, and MALS courses – which gave me a well-rounded experience. I highly recommend the MALS degree for anyone – especially those who are looking for an interdisciplinary approach to academics.