Attending Southwestern Adventist University was one of the best experiences of my life. Those same friends I made at Southwestern have become lifelong friends. My classes at Southwestern were also a blessing. The things I learned have changed my life for the good. What I've enjoyed the most is that I still have access to many of these professors, anytime, to talk about what is on my heart. My pastoral ministry in Dallas and Tulsa and now my leadership roles as a student at Andrews University are possible because of the leadership skills I learned at Southwestern and because my professors were so proactive on my behalf.
My name is Kevin Bruce and I attended Southwestern from January 2003 to December 2006; it was one of the best experiences of my life! I only lived forty minutes from home, so the first month of attending Southwestern, I would go home on the weekends. As I started to make friends, they began to notice that I wasn't on campus on the weekends and inquired why. I remember there was a basketball tournament one weekend and they asked me to stay. I stayed and enjoyed the weekend; I also joined a choir called "One Desire" and rarely went home on the weekend anymore. Those same friends I made at Southwestern have become lifelong friends; we've all, for the most part, been in each other's weddings and I've even helped officiate one.
My classes at Southwestern were also a blessing. We have some great professors and not only in the Theology. I thoroughly enjoyed going to classes with Dr. Ingo Sorke, Dr.Bill Kilgore, Dr. Lloyd Willis, and Dr. Willie Hucks in Theology department, but I also enjoyed going to class with Dr. Steve Jones in the History department, Dr. Reynard Donesky and Dr. Andrew Wolley in the English department. The things I learned have changed my life for the good. What I've enjoyed the most is that I still have access to many of these professors, especially the ones in the theology department; I can call them in their office or on their cell phone and they make time to talk to me about whatever might be on my heart.
There were many supporting staff members at Southwestern that really helped me in my journey towards obtaining my degree. I'm afraid that I might not mention all, but they're probably reading this article and know who they are. To them I say, thank you, again!
Upon graduating from Southwestern, I was offered a job by Pastor Alex Horton, Sr. at the City Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church in Dallas, TX; I worked there until I was offered a call to the Tulsa New Life Seventh-day Adventist Church and Cleveland Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Oklahoma Conference. Both of these opportunities came about because my professors in the theology department at Southwestern were proactive in reaching out to various individuals on my behalf. The skills I learned in class, serving as SA Religious Vice-President, and leading worship at Southwestern prepared me for the ministry God had for me in these opportunities. After pastoring in the Oklahoma Conference from June 2007 to January 2013, I was ordained to the Gospel ministry!
In August of 2013, the Oklahoma Conference sponsored me to the Theological Seminary at Andrews University where I continue to use the skills I learned at Southwestern. This school year, I will serve as the President of an organization called SANE (Seminarians at All Nations Engaged) and Worship Coordinator for the All Nations Seventh-day Adventist Church in Berrien Springs, MI. I believe none of this would have been possible if not for the leadership skills I learned while attending Southwestern.
Kevin Bruce, theology, 2006