Perhaps the biggest benefit of having an undergraduate institution that is intentionally designed For the Kingdom is the kind students that such a vision attracts. Spurgeon College has been blessed with a great number of Jesus-following young men and women who are exploring how their place in the church and the gospel’s place in the world might be best stewarded for God’s glory.
One such student is Spurgeon College junior Allie Brookens of Pleasant Hill, Missouri. Pursuing her B.A. in Counseling Psychology, Allie also serves as a Residential Assistant on campus to undergrad girls and attends Raintree Community Church in nearby Lee’s Summit. Jared Wilson visited with her about her college experience thus far and asked her to offer some advice to those considering their next educational steps.
Jared: What unique aspects of Spurgeon College made it appealing to you?
Allie: I came to Spurgeon College in kind of a unique manner. I started taking college classes online at Liberty University. I knew it was a good school, and I loved what I was learning (psychology), but something felt a little off. I was alone for hours studying, and all I could think of was living like that for the next four years. That thought made me want to give up on school altogether. So, I sat down one day and knew something had to give. My pastor had just moved to Kansas City and enrolled at Midwestern for his Ph.D. Someone suggested I look into Midwestern too, to see if they offered anything for counseling. I’m pretty sure I rolled my eyes and said, “Okay, but I think it’s just a seminary, just for pastors.”
The one thing I did know was that I wanted a degree program that could set me up to pursue my M.A. in Counseling. I had done a lot of research, so I called admissions with my list of questions about counseling philosophy and my convictions, and I was pleasantly surprised. The school’s counseling objectives got me in the door. I knew that was something I could get behind. I knew that I was going to be biblically trained, to serve in a church or still serve Christians outside the church, without sacrificing high academic standards. But even broader than that, I am simply formulating a Christian worldview and learning to study the Bible for myself. No matter what the future holds, I know these things will serve me well.
JCW: What have been your favorite classes, and why?
AB: On a content level, my favorite classes have been counseling-related. There are few greater feelings than being in a class where the discussion ignites your passion so much that you have a hard time keeping quiet or sitting still. I often find myself thinking about how I would love to pick a professor’s brain about a certain topic. On the other hand, I have loved classes like Christian Doctrine, Old Testament, Ethics, and Philosophy because of how incredible the professors have been. When Midwestern says that the professors care, it’s not just a cliché. They joke with you in class, want you to enter into discussion with them, and genuinely pray for you. Just last week I had a professor stop me in the hallway and asked about a difficult prayer request I had shared two years ago! He was still praying. That kind of teaching transcends the classroom.
JCW: What’s something people outside the area might not know about Kansas City?
AB: There’s always something going on! I still haven’t made it through the list of coffee shops and ice cream places I want to visit. On top of that, we have a ton of parks, great shopping, the zoo, museums, and culturally diverse restaurants and festivals. Oh, and let’s not forget those Royals!
JCW: What word of advice would you give a high school student considering which college to choose?
AB: Think long-term and short-term. What I mean is, ask yourself where you want to be in five years. Not just in a career, but how do you want to have developed as a holistic person? Then work backward and find the place and people that will spur you on to that. It’s too easy to just drift during this season of life. But also think short-term. You won’t arrive at your goal today. So, determine what you can do each day to serve God where you are. Do the next faithful thing.