Ron Chicken ’09 – Majors: Classics; Religious Studies M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary (2012)
J.D. Student, University of Georgia School of Law (present)
What led you to study Religion at Montclair State?
With seven family members and four generations of successful alums, choosing to attend Montclair State University was both one of the easiest and best decisions I have ever made.
I double-majored in Classics and Religious Studies, and took a minor in Philosophy. In addition to my classroom education, I left Montclair with lifelong friends, irreplaceable memories and an unforgettable student experience. I participated in intramural sports and was involved with countless organizations. I was also elected Student Government President, serving two terms.
What has “life after Montclair State” been like for you?
After graduation, I earned a master’s degree at Princeton Theological Seminary, in Theology and Philosophy. Building upon the foundation I received from Montclair State, I made it a priority to excel both inside and outside the classroom in graduate school. Academically I pushed myself beyond the normal requirements, enrolling in Ph.D. seminars at Princeton University. I studied abroad in India and received a fellowship to study in Berlin, Germany. As a full-time student I also held leadership roles in intramural sports and took on a unique internship, working twenty hours a week at the State Psychiatric Hospital in Trenton, while again serving as a Student Government president. I credit both my academic and extracurricular success at Princeton to the education and mentoring I received from Montclair State University and its superb faculty and administrators.
After graduating from Princeton, I worked as a pastor in Gloucester City, NJ. I then helped restart a youth program at the Highland Park Church of God, worked in the local schools as a substitute teacher, and was elected to the city’s local minister’s ecumenical association as Secretary Treasurer. In June 2014, was married and decided to pursue a law degree at the University of Georgia.
Any thoughts to share about your Montclair State experience for current students?
I’m just grateful to the professors I had in both Philosophy & Religion and Classics at Montclair, who have always encouraged and supported me, both as a student and as an alumnus. I wish the best of luck to all graduating Red Hawks and urge them to make Montclair State proud as they follow their dreams and help create tomorrow.