Mike Rusten grew up in Plymouth, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. God drew him to himself at a Billy Graham crusade when Mike was a junior high boy, and life was never to be the same. He graduated from Princeton University where he was president of the Princeton Evangelical Fellowship. There he majored in psychology, receiving honorable mention for the university’s Psychology Prize. He then received an M.A. from the University of Minnesota. His next degree was an M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. This was followed by a Th.M. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. His Ph.D. is from New York University where he wrote his doctoral dissertation on the book of Revelation. Along the way Mike also attended Dallas Theological Seminary and Jerusalem University College.
Mike and his wife Sharon have two children. Their daughter Marta MacDougall is a clinical psychologist at the V.A. Hospital in Philadelphia. Their son Mark is an ear, nose, and throat physician in Paducah, Kentucky. Marta, Mark, and their spouses have presented Mike and Sharon with four delightful grandchildren.
After finishing his class work at New York University, Mike served as the Assistant Pastor at Calvary Memorial Church in Orono, Minnesota. Then life began to take surprising turns. God opened the doors for him to become the owner of Cascade Lodge near Grand Marais, Minnesota which Mike operated with his father-in-law as a Christian resort. While still owning the resort, Mike started a Christian greeting card company, Morning Star. It grew to be listed in the Inc. 500 and Mike was elected to the Board of Directors of the Christian Booksellers Association. After selling the resort and the greeting card company, life took another unexpected turn as Mike became involved in electoral politics. He was the National Coordinator for the Freedom Council, the predecessor of the Christian Coalition. Then in each presidential election from 1988 to 2000 Mike was on the campaign staff of one of the candidates for president. During this time Mike also served for three and a half years as the director of adult education at Church of the Open Door, a church of 6,000 now located in Maple Grove, Minnesota.
Mike and Sharon have been members of Bethlehem Baptist since 1997. During that time they have written two books together. Mike joined the staff of The Bethlehem Institute (now Bethlehem College and Seminary) in 2003. He brought INSIGHT, the college’s first year program before the launch of CWIC, to Bethlehem and now is the director of the college’s Degree Completion Program.