Why I Chose Briercrest
My time at Briercrest had come to an end. Six years after I had started at Briercrest, I was standing on the stage, accepting my BA Youth Ministry. Yes, that is a four-year degree. Yes, I took my time. Yes, I loved it.
I came to Briercrest on a whim in September of 2008. My biology professor, Corey Zeigler, told me that I should consider applying, and realizing that I had no other burning desires in me, I said yes. I applied without knowing anything about the school, got accepted, and began packing my things.
I was lucky enough to know my college roommate from our time together in high school, but many of my fellow freshmen didn't know theirs. I consider that a win for them. Coming into a new place without knowing many (if any) people around you has its pros and it has its cons. At a school like Briercrest, it's all pros.
The longer I spent there, the more I realized how much people cared for me. The community within this small village of Caronport is really something special, and it extends from the high school, through the college and all the way to the seminary. The kind of love that you feel from your brothers and sisters while you're attending Briercrest is unparalleled.
I did an internship as a youth pastor in Regina after my third year of college. Most people would take this time to sink their teeth into their career and spend time with their family (as Regina was, and is, my hometown). While I was working 30+ hours a week at the church, my heart was still in Caronport. No, there was no girl stealing my heart, it was the school.
I took a Monday night class and a Tuesday/Thursday class during that year. Naturally, I would drive the hour to Caronport on Sunday afternoon so I could spend the night with friends, spend all day Monday going to chapel and building into people before my Monday night class. The next day, I would take my Tuesday morning class, and then head back to Regina for work. I would spend 48 hours in Caronport when I only had 4 hours of class to be there for. That's how much those people meant to me.
Even if the community had been terrible and I hated every second of being there, the schooling itself would have been enough to keep me at Briercrest.
The quality of professors that Briercrest boasts is uncanny. There are so many PhDs floating around this campus that it's enough to make a 17-year-old kid terrified when he walks on campus. There were many nights that I walked away from my classes feeling incredibly lost and confused about what I knew about my faith and God.
Thankfully, that's where the community came into play. Again.
The professors at Briercrest teach you how to think rather than what to think. So, when they completely shatter your world view, you can walk back to dorm and discuss how you totally lost your preconceived notions on the infallibility of Scripture with the people in your dorm. Chances are, they're in your class and feel just as lost, which means you can travel that journey together.
It isn't all confused freshmen in the dorms, however.
Thankfully, as a fresh-faced 17-year-old kid, I had many older students in my dorm that were incredibly willing to discuss these mind blowing issues with my empty brain. These students had been through these classes, spent time wrestling with these issues, and had traversed these rushing waters in order to find their answers once upon a time; they were now willing to wade through those waters to give me a life preserver of thought provoking questions. Their knowledge and insight, combined with what I was learning in chapel and in class, shaped my world view.
I am ever learning, and Briercrest has helped me be that way. I knew I'd stick around, too. Even after graduation, I find myself sitting in the academic building in my new office as the marketing assistant for the school. Some say they knew that I would never get away, to which I would often respond with "I don't want to get away." This rings true today, as I now look to build into a younger generation of Briercrest students by reaching them in new ways and letting them experience Briercrest for themselves.
Briercrest isn't for everyone. It is, however, for anyone who wants to grow in their knowledge of God, theology, faith, science, literature, philosophy, psychology, business, and many other areas of life, all while being surrounded and lifted up by an unwavering Christian community.
In a world where a "sink or swim" mentality reigns as king, it is nice to know that there will always be a group of people in Caronport willing to cross those waters and extend their hand to anyone who feels like they are drowning.