Seth McDonald: A Life Changed to Save Lives

Seth McDonald: A Life Changed to Save Lives

Seth McDonald met two life-changing people as a student at BBC. One was his wife, Bethany. The other was Hal Cross, Vice President for Business & Finance at BBC&S.

Seth McDonaldAfter realizing God had gifted and called him to the medical field, Seth got connected with Hal, a local EMT, who helped him develop his career.

Seth studied in the Specialized Ministries program and graduated in 2009. Now, he and Bethany live in Virginia Beach, VA, and he works at Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters in Norfolk, VA.

In January, Seth will build on his BBC education at Eastern Virginia Medical School to earn his Master of Physician Assistant degree.

I attended a local community college my first year out of high school. After that year, I didn't have much motivation to continue school because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. My parents, realizing that, encouraged me to go away to college to experience something new. The insistence of Don Sintic (who was head coach at the time) for me to come play baseball at BBC played a big role in going.

I was a Specialized Ministries major. Halfway through my time at BBC I realized a desire to do something in medicine. This program gave me great flexibility to get a great biblical education and still allowed me to use many electives to take the science prerequisites I would need.

While home for Christmas break in 2007 I witnessed a car hit a motorcyclist at an intersection. I was one of the only people there to help but had no idea what to do, which made me feel helpless. The next day in the newspaper I saw he had passed away. That was when I knew medicine was the right career for me.

I most appreciated the professors and class sizes at BBC. Small classes are a true luxury and enhanced my learning experience tremendously. There was more access to pick the professors' brains in the classroom and opportunities outside the classroom as well. Many of the professors gave out their cell phone numbers. Their were countless times when I called Dr. Palmer for classes like chemistry and physics and he would just have me come over to his house and we would work at his kitchen table.

BBC was such a growing period in my life.I was being influenced in so many ways - from the people surrounding me and even from people I never expected. I spent a lot of time in the science classrooms with Peggy Wright and Vince Palmer. Their passion to see us learn was so evident and helped me get through some long days. I spent a lot of time with Coach Sintic on and off the baseball field. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't have returned to BBC after my first year. If it weren't for Hal Cross, I wouldn't be where I am today entering physician assistant school.

It was Dr. Palmer who pointed me in the direction of Hal Cross. God had showed me, through life experience, that I had an interest in medicine. Now that I think about it, this was a very ironic relationship: I attended a Bible college and the person who assisted me the most with my career was a vice president for business and finance. This just goes to show how the Lord works. I met with Hal, an EMT who volunteered at the local fire station, and the rest is history. He helped me get set up with an accelerated EMT course at a local college over the summer.

Hal really took me under his wing. He got me involved volunteering at the local fire station and pointed me in the right direction to be hired at a local ambulance company. He was my ministry coach the majority of my time at BBC and taught me about having compassion for those who are hurting. He was a great example to me of having the right attitude and mentality as a medical provider.

In January, I will start at Eastern Virginia Medical School in the Master of Physician Assistant program. I am still looking forward to what the Lord has planned for me after that. EVMS was an easy choice for me, having grown up and currently living in the area. Out of the hundreds of physician assistant programs in the country, EVMS has the rarity of being attached to and run by a medical school. This allows access to all the benefits that medical students get for optimal learning experience. It is ranked among the best in the country.

Once I researched the field, I quickly learned that it was a very competitive yet rewarding task to pursue physician assistant as a profession. With the state of health care, it is a booming profession with limitless potential. The physician assistant profession comes with a lot less debt and stress than a physician and is more versatile. A physician assistant is able to easily switch between specialties and have more flexible schedules, allowing me to involved with my family and not be consumed by a career. Plus, I will be ready to start working in the field after only 96 credits of graduate school.

If it weren't for BBC, I wouldn't be on the career path that I am now. God used different experiences and relationships to get me where I am today. BBC is also a great place to help young people take on responsibility and mature. God used my time at BBC to help me grow significantly from my freshman to senior year.

Contact Info

Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers an outstanding Christian education through on-campus, online, and other distance learning options. Students go beyond the ordinary, learning to serve with excellence as they gain critical leadership and life skills.

To learn more, go to or call 570.586.2400.

Posted on: 8/13/2013 10:30:41 AM

Share on Facebook