Pastor of three churches earns Penn State degree online

May 02, 2012

Douglas Mellott of Runville, Pa., is caring for four families as he furthers his education at Penn State. He is the married father of five children and pastor of three United Methodist Churches. Thanks to the flexibility of online courses in Penn State's World Campus, Mellott is able to balance the needs of all of his families with his educational goal. He graduates this weekend.

For Mellott, earning an associate degree in letters, arts and sciences is the first step toward his goal of becoming an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, where he currently is pastor of the Runville, Yarnell and Pleasant Valley churches. "It's hard to balance family, church and school. One of the greatest things about online learning is that I can study when my kids are in bed and at other times," said Mellott, whose family includes wife Jennifer and children Kolyn, 15; Adazia, 12; Shawn, 8; Bryleigh, 6; and Henley, 7 months.

Originally from Lewistown, Pa., Mellott graduated from Indian Valley High School in 1995. He joined the Army Reserves in high school and served for six years. Then he worked a variety of jobs, including serving as a prison guard at SCI Rockview.

A church mission to Costa Rica in 2006 "changed my life," he said. "I started pursuing my calling." In 2008, he enrolled at Penn State and has been taking two courses a semester.

"It's been a long road to get this far," said Mellott, 34, who will continue his education online at Penn State to earn a bachelor's degree. His final step toward his goal will be to complete a master of divinity degree.

Penn State World Campus specializes in adult online education, delivering more than 80 of Penn State's most highly regarded graduate, undergraduate and professional education programs through convenient online formats. Founded in 1998, Penn State World Campus is the University's 25th campus serving more than 16,000 students in all 50 states and around the world. World Campus is part of Penn State Outreach, the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education. Penn State Outreach serves more than 5 million people each year, delivering more than 2,000 programs to people in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and 115 countries worldwide.

  • Douglas Mellott earned his associate degree online through Penn State's World Campus.

    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated May 03, 2012