March 17, 2021
Free to Explore New Horizons
If you ever want to get lost in the lava tubes around Mount Saint Helens in Washington or enjoy a bottle of gourmet root beer on your deck on a beautiful summer night, then Matt Dearden might be your guy. Cedarville’s Director of Undergraduate Admissions is a strategic, fun-loving guy with an adventurous spirit.
Matt likes to explore new interests and test his limits. Like his decision to pursue a law degree at the University of Cincinnati although no one in his family had ever earned a Juris Doctor degree. Or become a respected root beer reviewer – no joke –along with two friends.
Or, as far as adventures go, give up a well-paying, American dream kind of career to return to his alma mater to serve in his current role.
But for Matt, it’s never been about money or worldly accomplishment, but understanding more deeply the way that he has been created by his Heavenly Father and how he can serve in diverse ways because of God’s grace and love.
Returning to Cedarville has opened up time for being with his bride, Rachel, who he met as an undergrad, and to love and spend time with his three daughters, Macie, Madison, and McKinley. It’s also afforded him opportunities to teach in the Department of History and Government, to advise student organizations, and to invest in his admissions counselors as professionals and followers of Christ.
The same counsel he offers prospective students could just as easily serve as Matt’s personal philosophy:
“Just be open for the experiences that will be available to you,” he says during the podcast. “Yes, you’re going to work hard; yes, there’s going to be a lot of opportunities for you. But more often than not, you’re just going to be walking through open doors. Cedarville’s a phenomenal place to experience that.”
More to the Story
Matt is a big believer in the 1,000 Days campaign as someone who personally has experienced the transformation of a Cedarville education.

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