I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs at Cedarville, and with the administration change I often think that there have been more downs than ups. But I wanted to pause and reflect on some of my favorite things from Cedarville that I will still look back on fondly years from now. In no particular order, here are my Cedarville highlights:
Campus Christmas may be my favorite event on Campus at Cedarville. Since my freshman year I always looked forward to the SSC mysteriously being decorated the weekend before Thanksgiving, the concerts and storytelling with Dr. Brown, and Christmas Open Dorms. Though our “Movie Theater” open dorm was a bust freshman years, my friends and I recovered with successively better open dorms each year in Lawlor/Printy Christmas, A Date in 60 Seconds, and Commercial Christmas.
This place gets a lot of flack for a being the rowdy dorm where the “bad” students live, and well, some of that may be true. But reputation or not, Brock was a highly sociable dorm where I made almost all of my closest friends. It was an active dorm where quiet hours weren’t a thing and curfew was sometimes a guideline; we could toss a frisbee, kick a soccer ball, or throw a tennis ball with little consequence (save for a broken sprinkler). I’m not against rules by any means, but the freedom to have fun and be social without a strict authority is liberating, and I loved it. Brock was home.
I came into college knowing that I wanted to do Youth Ministry. My high school youth group is the avenue by which I came to faith and matured spiritually, and I want to be part of others having similar experiences. I figured I would learn about the Bible and how to teach, but I didn’t quite anticipate the “extracurriculars.” My fellow majors and I became a close knit group of friends, which made class more entertaining than I could have estimated. We began having lunch together routinely–both in and out of Chuck’s–and got to know our professors well. So well even that we felt comfortable pulling off pranks like the ones below.
One of the things that I was looking for when I went to college was a Christian University that I would be able to do Cross Country at. I played soccer until my sophomore year of high school before becoming a harrier, but I wasn’t ready to retire my running shoes yet. Cedarville afforded me the opportunity to be a part of a really competitive cross country team that would finish 15th in the NAIA my freshman year, and would later go on to have consecutive 15th place finishes at nationals once the institution shifted to the NCAA. Unfortunately my competitive effort didn’t quit pan out. I was plagued with injuries and didn’t see much improvement even when I managed to stay healthy (in retrospect probably because I was not getting sufficient sleep to be competitive). I ended up quitting after my sophomore year, more because of difficulty training while doing YouthWorks than injuries or lack of improvement. Cross Country was exhilarating though while I was a part of it–an opportunity to challenge myself to my very best, not for my own glory, but for the glory of God.
Also when I was looking for a university, I wanted to find a school that had a strong spiritual emphasis. There are plenty of “christian” schools, but I wanted to go to a Christian school. I wanted a university that took faith seriously. And Cedarville did meet that requirement. Though Chapel was often boring or tiresome, it had great speakers just as often. Ken Ham, Eric Metaxes, Rob Turner, Bill Brown, Michael Francese, Giana Jensen, Jason Malone, Jason Wing, Chris Williamson, Bryan Loritts, Demaurice Smith, Palmer Chinchen, Mike Yankowski, Joni Eareckson Tada, and Christopher Yuan are just a few of the many names that stick out in my mind when I think about the excellent chapels Cedarville has put together.
Great Bible Profs
Between my Freshman and Junior years (and my junior year in particular) I had some fantastic professors who imparted to me not just an understanding of scripture but a love for Christ, ministry, the Church, and the marginalized. Dixon, Hutch, Dr. Williams, TC, Papa C, Ambrose, Dr. Estes, Dr. Miller–hats off to you all. Thank you for teaching well.
Poverty Weekend is an experiential element of Dr. Cook’s Urban Ministry class. I can’t give many details because we swear an oath of silence so not to ruin the experience for others in future experiences. But let me say that become the face of poverty and experiencing, if only in brief, the rigors of hopelessness will change how you view others. Understanding poverty as best we can is crucial not just for ministry, but for everyone!
A lot of people say that college is the best time of your life. I don’t know if I can say that (I have a lot of life to live!), but I know that there is plenty to look back on and smile.