In considering my personal faith narrative and the integration of my faith in learning, I find it difficult to separate the two as both faith and learning have had such a tremendous impact on my life and continue to have a prominent place in the goals I have for my future.
I was raised attending a small Church of God church in Connersville, Indiana. It was a very loving church in which I learned the importance on having a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. However, the church did place a strong importance of being ‘called by God’, specifically into the ministry. I have always felt a strong desire to serve the Lord but was very disappointed through my growing up years that I never received ‘the call’ upon my life. It wasn’t until my senior year at Lee University that I truly came to realize that God’s call upon a person’s life does not necessarily mean having to be a preacher or a pastor. Throughout the course work and class discussions at Lee, God confirmed what I believe I had known all along in my heart but had never been able to express quite as poignantly as my professors: every child of God is called to know him better. And as we cultivate a relationship with God, that is when we truly begin to know ourselves and appreciate the interests and passions that the Lord has placed in our lives. Our creator made us who we are for a reason; to honor him in all that our hands find to do. It was so liberating to have affirmation that my interests and passions were just as valuable to God’s kingdom work as those who take their place in the pulpit on Sunday morning. I know that this is one the greatest truths I will be able to instill in my students: the reality that God created them just who they are for a very special reason and they should embrace their passions and work toward being the very best that they can be in order to bring glory to God through excellence in their chosen field.
As someone who is interested in helping others learn and as someone who has a strong faith in God, the commitment to a Christ-centered education is paramount to me. Having the opportunity to be a part of a university that incorporates faith into the educational process equips me as an educator to teach others how to incorporate faith into their work. Also, it creates an environment in which the student is encouraged to look deeper into their studies in order to search for redeeming qualities and spiritual parallels that would most certainly be overlooked in a secular institution.
Being part of a university that embraces a Christian worldview provides me with the unique opportunity to encourage others to incorporate their faith into their passion. It is my desire to encourage Lee students to embrace both their intellect and their spirituality in order to merge them together to form a complete being; a being who is relevant to society and is equipped with the power to positively impact the world around them. My greatest ambition is to be able to instill in my students the truth that their chosen vocation, whatever it may be, can bring glory to God when it is accomplished as our service to Christ with both purpose and excellence.
Whatever you do, do it from the heart for the Lord and not for people. You know that you will receive an inheritance as a reward. You serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24 Common English Bible (CEB)