In a few weeks the seniors will depart from BJU, diploma in hand. As they prepare for the new challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of them, these BJU faculty members would like to offer some advice to the future graduates.
Mr. Rob Loach
Mr. Rob Loach, a faculty member in the Division of Modern Language and Literature, said to make sure you pay enough attention to your personal life. This includes time in God’s Word, your connection with other believers, and being involved in a church.
Second, Loach recommends keeping your family connections strong.
“Family are the ones that are going to be there for you in the long run,” Loach said.
Last, Loach advises being open to new friendships. Loach said that just as some high school friendships dissolved after you came to college, some college relationships will dissolve once you graduate.
“Be open to new friendships, but don’t abandon the old ones that are worth keeping,” Loach said.
Dr. Linda Hayner
Dr. Linda Hayner, a faculty member in the Division of Social Science, said the most important thing is to stay in the center of the Lord’s will. Even if you don’t know exactly what the Lord’s will is, stay where you are until He leads you elsewhere, Hayner said.
“Don’t move until the Lord moves you,” Hayner said. “The minute you start running ahead things go wrong, because we always make bad choices.”
In accordance with her first piece of advice, Hayner also advises to wait on the Lord.
“If you want to be content and secure, then be patient,” Hayner said. “Patience only comes with having to use it.”
Hayner said that while you wait for God to show you the next step, stay busy with whatever He has given you in the present.
Third, Hayner advises to be open to the Lord’s leading.
“Don’t assume you know it all, because you don’t,” Hayner said. “And you won’t know it all, even when you die.”
Hayner said that God might have you do something outside of what you studied in college, because He might want to teach you something other than what you have learned.
“Never assume that your training is over,” Hayner said. “Whatever you learn under the most pleasant or adverse circumstances, the Lord will use.”
Mr. Mark Vowels
Mr. Mark Vowels, a faculty member in the Division of Ministries, first said to never stop being passionate about Christ.
“There should be a consistent sense of wonder that God really does love us and saved us, and that despite all of our flaws and weaknesses God wants to use us,” Vowels said. “Never stop being amazed at the grace of God.”
Second, Vowels said that life can be either fun or boring, and it is up to you to decide which it is. He recommends doing things that are fun, being yourself, and not trying to be something to please anyone besides Christ. Vowels said doing these things is important because it’s easy to just fall into a routine.
“Life should be a journey of joy,” Vowels said.
Third, Vowels said that relationships will always be more important than stuff. He advises to make good friends, to spend your life with people who love you, and to invest your life in people.
“You’ll never regret the time you invest in people,” Vowels said. “At the end of the day, it is only people that are eternal.”
Dr. Rhonda Galloway
Dr. Rhonda Galloway, a faculty member in the Division of English Language and Literature, advises graduates to always keep God’s Word your number one priority. Galloway, recalling the busyness of her first few years as she established her teaching career, said that your career can easily get off-course when your relationship with God is not right.
“When you’re not in God’s Word, nothing turns out right,” Galloway said.
Second, Galloway advises that wherever God leads you, find a good church where you can serve. As you make new friends, Galloway said the ones you make at church are going to be the ones who uplift and help you in this next stage of your life. Galloway also recommends finding a small church ministry that needs your active ministry.
Third, Galloway strongly recommends creating a budget. Galloway said to make the first line on the budget your tithe to God and learn to live on 90 percent of your income.
“It’s easy to get really messed up really fast if you don’t start out with the right perspective,” Galloway said.
Dr. Steve Pettit
BJU President Dr. Steve Pettit said first of all, the most important focus should be your personal walk with God.
Second, Pettit said to connect with a good local church that will be a spiritually nurturing community.
Third, Pettit said to really invest yourself into serving others.
“Make [serving others] the way you are versus becoming a self-oriented person,” Pettit said.
Throughout his many years of travel with college-aged young adults, Pettit said this is the stage of life when you decide exactly what you believe, what you’re going to do with your time, and whom you are going to serve.
“Life is about service, not about success,” Pettit said. “Success is the number of people you can serve.”