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In August 2004, my wife Kate and I had recently graduated college. We were celebrating our first anniversary, and (perhaps because we didn’t have any kids or because we are young and audacious) were packing up the few things we had to head out of our hometown of Muncie, Indiana to go to Westminster Seminary California for me to get a Master of Arts in Historical Theology.
I thought it was a good idea, and I managed somehow to convince Kate of this; we made the final decision so late that I missed summer Greek. So on August 20, 2004, we headed across the country to one of the most expensive areas in the nation, with no job lined up, an apartment we had never seen, sixty dollars in our checking account—and the Lord has blessed us richly ever since.
I know many of the students at WSC can relate to the major changes, the shoestring finances, and even the foolhardiness that my wife and I have experienced; but I trust that all of us can testify to the rich blessings that we’ve enjoyed from the hand of our faithful God. I’ve enjoyed the classes that marry top-notch scholarship with biblical wisdom. I’ve enjoyed the friendship and Christian fellowship I’ve had with many students, families, staff, and faculty. Above all, I’ve enjoyed getting to know God. I’m thankful that I realize now more than ever how sinful I am, because I realize now more than ever how faithful Christ is. I’ve heard the good news of his gospel enough times here to know that I can never hear it nor share it too many times. The underlying motive of everything I’ve been taught at WSC is that Christ is all our righteousness and our life. That is truly precious, truly powerful, and I thank God for this gospel and for these gifts he has given us, which he now calls us (in his strength alone) to employ in his service.
So on August 21, 2007, three years and one day after heading way out to California, my wife and I will be heading way, way over to Scotland to the University of Aberdeen for me to get a PhD in Systematic Theology, Lord-willing. Again, I thought it was a good idea andagain, I managed to convince Kate. This time, though, we’ll have celebrated our fourth anniversary, and our beautiful daughter Lily will be six months old.
We’ll leave here with much more than we brought with us, and I’m not referring to the sixty dollars or the 243-page Master’s thesis: we’ll leave here with cherished memories, lasting friendships, the desire to use our gifts and knowledge for the work of the Church, and a preparation for this calling which is second to none.
Along with all the other graduates, I leave WSC with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the stated purpose of our school: “for Christ, his Gospel, and his Church.” This is the goal of our studies, the strength of our faculty, the heartbeat of our alma mater. May our faithful Lord continue to work powerfully in and through Westminster Seminary California and her graduates. May he continue to supply all we need, body and soul, as we are sent out on all the various paths our pilgrimages take, which all lead to the same place—a place more glorious than any Southern California day.