Welcome to Asbury Seminary, Take Two
Last year, I clearly remember awaiting the day that I moved to Wilmore, preparing to make the journey to Seminary. While feelings of intimidation abounded, excitement and anticipation dominated my thoughts. On move-in day, a sunny, blue-skied morning in the dog-days of summer, I made my way to Newton Grice Hall where I was assigned to live. At first glance, Grice is not all that much to look at—a boxy, older building that some affectionately call “the bomb shelter”—but little did I know that this place would be a house of transformation in Christian community.
I was welcomed by my Residential Assistants, Caleb and Ebenezer. With the help of my family, I moved copious books, clothes, and other necessities into my room—a spacious room on the third floor. After wrapping up, I soon found myself meeting many of the other guys of third floor Grice. Little did I know the blessing that these men would be in my life.
Here in this place, I developed friendships within days of arriving. We played volleyball, soccer, and my personal favorite, Ultimate Frisbee. Board games—usually Risk and Settlers of Catan—often consumed our free evenings. But something far more significant defined life in Grice: the spiritual atmosphere. Here in this place, we shared life through eating together, dialoging, and challenging one another. That first semester, we studied the book of Romans as a dorm, led by the Residential Assistant Chaplain Taavet, a native of Estonia. Before long, we started having weekly meals together, hosting men and women not only from Grice, but from Bettie Morrison (the female resident hall), Sundo (the other male hall), and off-campus commuters. Here, godly conversations flourished as we unpacked the day’s lecture in Intro to New Testament or reflected upon amazing revelations from the “Bauer Power Hour”—Dr. Bauer’s Inductive Bible Study Class on Matthew.
In the mist of this environment, I often wondered, Why am I here? Am I here simply to fulfill the denomination requirements to become an ordained elder? While this may be what initially leads one to seminary, you will soon realize that you are here for so much more. You get way more than a master’s degree—you get to experience transformation! This miracle—for that is what it truly is—comes from many sources. You will be blessed by chapel services, classes, mentoring, and the community as a whole. In fact, this community is just as valuable as attaining a degree. This place of intentional community is unique, dynamic, diverse, and powerfully transforming. It will change your life. A degree from Asbury Theological Seminary is far more than a diploma—it represents a holistic experience and that is what I have been blessed with.
Here I am, one year later. This time around, I am a Residential Assistant in Newton Grice. Just a few days ago, I welcomed a whole new class of men to the community. As they moved in, I could not help smiling and saying, “Just you wait! You are lucky to be in Grice!” With God’s grace, this class of men residing in this boxy little dorm will carry on the tradition of transformative community and vibrant spiritual life. It will be exciting to see what adventures this year has in store!