Stories of How Generosity Can Change Lives
HOW TO FIND BEAUTY IN THE UNFAMILIAR
Friday, January 7, 2011
Many state schools offered to pay Chris Eads ‘11 to attend. They also offered him a new Macbook and a monthly stipend, but he decided to come to JBU instead. Unlike the state schools, JBU had a strong music program with a worship ministry degree.
So, Eads contacted Admissions and applied to JBU. With loans and scholarships, he was able to attend in the Fall of 2007.
“I wouldn’t have been able to come to JBU without financial aid. It’s an incredible blessing,” Eads said. “I wouldn’t trade my choice... the education I got at JBU is worth so much more.”
Eads became a Christian after his parents divorced and his grandmother began taking him to church. Although they supported his decision to come to JBU, his parents could not understand why he would choose a school that did not pay him to attend.
“They didn’t really know why I wanted to major in worship ministries,” Eads said. During his junior year, Eads married Sarah Kientz ‘10, a fellow music student. Although being a married student was not easy, Eads found that the challenges of education came with encouragement.
“I never imagined I’d have an education that allowed me to relate to my God and my community equally well in a charismatic church setting and in a high-liturgy Anglican setting. But because of JBU, that’s possible,” Eads said. “Probably the most valuable aspect of my education was the broadening of my understanding of Christianity as it pertains to both high theology and everyday life.”
When asked what made JBU unique enough to turn away full scholarships, Eads said it was “the level of investment the professors have in their students. I’ve had professors take me to coffee or invite me over for dinner, which are both fairly superficial things by themselves, but they do so in order to get to know me.”
Eads graduated May 2011 with a double major in Worship Ministries and Biblical Studies. He plans to attend graduate school. “My professors challenged me, but I’ve definitely done my fair share of challenging others as well…I feel like that’s one of my callings in life,” he explained. “I want to be able to help others see the beauty in unfamiliar traditions.”