This January, Dr. Sam Horn began working as BJU’s first Vice President for Ministerial Advancement. BJU President Dr. Steve Pettit and Horn said the goal of the new position is to re-energize the ministerial aspects of the University.
“The ministerial training has been one of the heartbeats of the University since its founding,” Horn said. “And one of the goals of Dr. Pettit and the Board is to refocus and re-energize that effort.”
In this position, Horn will focus on the ministerial class, the undergraduate School of Religion and the Seminary. But Horn, a BJU graduate, said he wants to extend this ministry focus to students from other majors as well.
“[BJU] has trained a generation of Christian leaders for service to the Gospel and in the church,” Horn said. “Traditionally that has been done through a Bible major, but in the 21st century we’re finding that a lot of people with a passion for ministry aren’t going that route. What we’re hoping to do is point those sort of people toward the Seminary program.”
Horn, whom Pettit describes as “gregarious and has never met a stranger in his life,” began considering work at BJU less than a year ago, but he believes that God has been preparing him for this role his entire life, even when Horn didn’t realize it.
“I think what the Lord does when he prepares us for ministry is He gives us a set of experiences, and we don’t always know why we’re having that set of experiences,” Horn said.
During his time as an undergraduate at BJU, Horn worked at BJU Press preparing school curriculums. At the time, Horn didn’t understand why he was working in education. He was going to be a pastor, or so he thought, and thus didn’t see a need to have training in education. Years later, that experience began to make sense when he began working in higher education at Northland University, then Central Baptist Seminary and, now, at BJU.
“I’ve helped at a Christian school in Monterrey, Mexico, and I’ve helped in Zambia in Africa,” Horn said. “All those experiences came from an initial experience that at the time I didn’t understand.”
Horn said he is most excited about the opportunity this position provides to invest in students the way he was invested in during his time at the University.
“I can look back on almost 30 years of ministry with a passion for missions, and that passion was put in me while I was in college,” Horn said as he listed name after name of BJU faculty members who had an influence on his life.
“I want to put that kind of passion in the heart of a young person.”