"My four years in the BAT program showed me what I was good at and what I struggled with and gave me confidence to take the next step in my calling. I learned more about who God made me to be and how I could use that for God’s glory."
Program: Bachelor of Applied Theology
Graduation Year: 2014
Current Job Title: Pastor of Students at Calvary Chapel West Hills
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Current City: West Hills, CA
Life at CBU
Why did you choose your major? What interested you in this particular field of study?
I chose the BAT program because I wanted to study at a Christian university that would train me to study God’s word and prepare me to serve in the local church. During the last years of high school I felt a call to ministry but knew that I needed training. As I looked at different programs, the BAT program stood out for emphasizing both theology and practical application for pastors.
What did you like about being in this program at CBU?
I loved the quality of instruction that I received in the program. The BAT program equipped me to thrive in seminary and serve as a pastor in a local church. I still return to what I learned in my current ministry role. I also loved going through the program with a small cohort of students. Our group learned together and had immediate access to our professors. I gained some great friends through the program.
What did you think about your professors?
I loved my professors! The Christian studies department at CBU has an amazing faculty of godly men and women who are excellent academically and love the local church. They gave me seminary level instruction and godly wisdom for life. The professors also made themselves available outside of class and have continued to invest in me even after I graduated.
Did you complete an internship?
I interned under several of the pastors at Olive Branch Community Church in Corona, CA. The people there were very good to me, giving me hands-on training in preaching, pastoral leadership and church administration. The pastors there allowed me to observe, ask questions and participate in the life of the church. It was a great complement to the classroom instruction of the BAT program.
Did you participate in anything else at CBU?
During my time at CBU I worked as an RA in Residence Life for three years. This was a great work experience that taught me a lot about engaging and doing ministry with many different kinds of people. My supervisors also taught me how godly mentors and supervisors lead. I made a lot of great friends through Residence Life. At CBU, I also participated in as many Community Life events and rec sports as I could. Our flag football teams weren’t very good, but we had a lot of fun! Finally, I went on two overseas mission trips through ISP. Both were eye-opening, cross-cultural experiences that showed me the Great Commission lived out!
How did you grow (spiritually, socially, educationally) while in this program at CBU?
My time at CBU helped me to grow up in many ways. Both the BAT program and the campus culture helped me to grow spiritually in my walk with Jesus. Spending time with professors, mentors and classmates who loved Jesus showed me what it looked like to live out the theology I was learning. The education and discipline I learned while earning my degree equipped me to thrive in seminary and in my current role as a pastor.
Did your program help you figure out your purpose?
When I started at CBU I could articulate a call to ministry, but I didn’t really know what that meant. Without knowing exactly where God was leading me, I knew I wanted to study in an environment that valued the Word of God, the Great Commission and the local church. My four years in the BAT program showed me what I was good at and what I struggled with, and gave me confidence to take the next step in my calling. I learned more about who God made me to be and how I could use that for God’s glory.
Life after CBU
What have you done since graduating?
Since graduating CBU, I continued my education by attending Beeson Divinity School and earning my Master of Divinity. Since then I was hired as the pastor of students at Calvary Church West Hills near Los Angeles, where I oversee our ministry to children, youth and parents.
How has your major and time at CBU prepared you for your life and career after college?
The BAT program focused on sound theology that can be applied practically in order to serve the local church. These emphases prepared me for both seminary and the pastorate. The theological and academic rigor of the BAT program gave me a head start when I began seminary. Also, by including internships and training in practical ministry I was prepared (or as prepared as I could be) when I began serving as a pastor.
Is there anything you learned at CBU that you still use in your professional life
Yes! In fact, there are too many to mention here. My time in the BAT program provided a wealth of theological tools and pastoral wisdom that I return to often. The BAT program lives up to its vision of pastoral education that is both theological and practical.
How are you making a difference in the world? How are you living your purpose?
At Calvary Church, our mission is to make disciples in our community and to glorify Jesus in Los Angeles. As one of the pastors here, I am using the tools that CBU gave me to teach God’s word, disciple families, equip the saints and live out Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations. This is how I am living out my purpose.
Would you recommend CBU to others?
CBU provides all the resources students need to grow professionally and spiritually during their college years. If students embrace the campus community, seek out godly mentors and learn wisdom from their professors, then attending CBU can be a transformative experience. By God’s grace, this was my experience, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to others.