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Never too old to pursue an education

Posted: May 15, 2009 7:34 p.m.
Updated: May 16, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Sean Wright, 59, of Santa Clarita, graduated with honors from one of Grand Canyon University's online bachelor's programs.

 

Answer: He’s the former writer for Jeopardy! and other game shows who decided to advance his religious education with a degree from Grand Canyon University.

Question: Who is Sean Wright of Santa Clarita?

Sean Wright might be one of the more fascinating students who graduated May 2 from Grand Canyon University in the College of Liberal Arts. Gray-haired and rotund, at 59, Wright had never stepped foot on campus before graduating with honors as one of the University’s many online students. He’s also Roman Catholic at a school founded by Southern Baptists, though the rapidly growing university embraces all Christian faiths.

As a writer for The Tidings, the official newspaper of the Los Angeles archdiocese, as well as a lecturer on the Bible and church history (he can tell you exactly what happens to a body as it’s being crucified), Wright felt his associate’s degree from Los Angeles City College was insufficient for the religious work he does.

“I wanted to learn a different view of the scripture,” Wright said.

Wright began to look for a Christian college where he could complete his bachelor’s degree. The first evangelical school he contacted snubbed him, hinting that it had no room for Catholics. But GCU welcomed him when he enrolled in the Christian studies program in July 2007.

“All the teachers have been wonderful,” Wright said. He found nothing in the curriculum that was at odds with his own beliefs, citing “very fair textbooks, very fair faculty.”

All his coursework has been via computer, with no contact with traditional on-campus students.

“At 3 a.m., if I wasn’t sleepy, I could go online” and work on assignments, he said.

Because of his background in theology and history, Wright enjoyed the coursework. Each class lasted about eight weeks. During that time, he said, he did get to know his virtual classmates and professors, though as he sat at the GCU student union after his college’s May 1 convocation, he couldn’t have spotted any of them by sight.

For Wright, the arrangement was perfect for his work schedule and accomplished the goal he set for himself.

“It helped my background in Scriptures,” he says. “It’s given me a perspective on evangelicals and expanded my world view.”
Barbara Yost is a freelance writer from Phoenix, Ariz.

 

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