What They Can’t Say in the Classroom
A forestry professor spoke through tears about God’s comforting presence since her six-year-old daughter died in a tragic accident in January.
A music professor related to the students how his inaccurate view of God had for years adversely affected his walk with Christ.
The Christian professors at Stephen F. Austin University obviously relished the opportunity last month to serve as spiritual mentors for the students who attended their What I Can’t Say in the Classroom presentations.
The professors had advertised the event on their office doors, and (to our delight and surprise) 10-12 additional faculty members attended, too! One, a math professor who did not indicate he was a Christian himself, said he came to hear his colleague tell her story.
A Q&A time following the talks prompted some great discussion. One student, who was attending a Cru (Campus Crusade’s student ministry at SFA) meeting for the first time, was overjoyed to learn it is possible to have a ”faith conversation” with a professor in her office. A new student at SFA, she learned after the talk that her academic advisor (also in attendance) was yet another Christian professor in the math department.
Another student was eager to continue this professor-student interaction: could they regularly pray together for their campus? The professors’ enthusiastic response: “We would love to make the time to do that!”
One student asked the professors why they were willing to come and talk to the students about their faith. All responded that they sense God’s prompting to see their work at the university as their ministry. Though they are active in their churches, now God is urging them to pursue ministry opportunities on campus with students and colleagues.
Some comments from the students:
“I feel like many of my questions about God were answered fully. I will definitely come again! Loved it!”
“I had no idea what I was walking into tonight, but God definitely did! Thank you guys for opening your hearts to a bunch of confused “20-somethings”! I am going to be an elementary ed teacher in a year and you are an inspiration and gave me HOPE!”
“You cannot imagine how much I need this…it’s been awhile that I was falling out of my fellowship with God. I was in a hard place in my life and still am…this really touched me.”
“It’s awesome to see that staff/teachers here at SFA are seeking to share their stories with their students and really use their profession as a vocation to invest in their students. I’ve been thinking of asking one of my nursing professors to be a spiritual mentor, and I think I might do it.”