College News

Living Without a Plan – On Purpose!

in Advancement, College News

“For the first time in my life I don’t know what’s next for me.” 

Eric Poll, a part-time Master of Divinity Student at Acadia Divinity College, had his life mapped out. “I always had a plan for what’s next, but now I’m learning to rely on God’s plan for my life. It’s a big change for me.”

That change can be traced back to a local hockey rink in 2015 when some hockey moms invited Eric and his family to come to church with them. After years of not practicing his faith, Eric, along with his wife and children, entered New Minas Baptist Church. Rev. Stirling Gosman, an ADC Alumnus, greeted and befriended them. “He spoke to our young children first and that was very powerful to me,” Eric recalls. “He made us feel seen and loved and accepted right from the start.”

Through his church family, Eric gained a deeper understanding of faith, church, and ministry.  “I used to think you needed a pastor only when you found yourself in a lot of trouble,” Eric joked. “I was beginning to realize the powerful ministry that pastors have while walking alongside of people every day.”

Eric Poll
Eric Poll
Master of Divinity Student

He also began to wrestle with his own call to ministry.  As a paramedic based in the Annapolis Valley, Eric realized the moments that were most meaningful were the ones where he cared for more than just the physical needs of those he was attending. “The times when I most enjoyed my job were not when I was providing necessary medical assistance to individuals, but when I was able to provide comfort and peace to those in distress. I came to realize that I wanted to do more.”

Eric shared his heart with Rev. Gosman who suggested he take a course at Acadia Divinity College. Instead, without a clear goal in mind, Eric enrolled part-time in the entire Master of Divinity (MDiv) program. “I didn’t feel like I fit in at the beginning, to be honest,” Eric confessed, “but individual faculty members took the time to know me and to speak into my life. They intentionally created space and opportunities for me to explore my gifts and calling. That has made all the difference.”

Currently two-thirds of the way through the MDiv program, Eric continues to explore where the Lord is leading him in ministry. While he has made many changes in his family and work life to be able to study, the most significant change he has experienced is the change inside himself.  “I’ve had a plan for my life and thought I knew from the start how the Lord was going to use me. I’ve had to intentionally move from needing everything planned out to being at peace with living in the Lord’s timing and will.”

To many, not having a plan may not seem like a purposeful way to live. To Eric, however, letting go of his plan and resting in God was a very purposeful change. “Acadia Divinity College has been a place where I’ve been accepted into a community and have been given the space to figure this out. As I learn and study, I also have the space to wait on the Lord to show me where He wants me to go. My time at ADC has been such a gift.”

“As a paramedic, I rely on others to enable me to do my work. While I focus on caring for a person in need, I need others to make the space around me safe. Donors do the same thing for me at ADC”

Eric knows he is not on this journey alone.  He sees a parallel between donors and the first responders he works with every day. “As a paramedic I rely on others to enable me to do my work. While I focus on caring for a person in need, I need others to make the space around me safe. Donors do the same thing for me at ADC. The support they provide creates a place where I can do the work of learning, growing, and discerning in a safe and nurturing environment.”

Acadia Divinity College is deeply thankful for the support that is given to our students by individuals, alumni, churches, and others. These gifts make a significant impact on the lives of students like Eric. Beyond the monetary support, each gift also provides great encouragement to our students.

Thank you for giving to support our mission to Equip Christians to Serve.

This Christmas please ‘Give with Purpose’
Your support enables us to prepare students like Eric to minister in our rapidly changing world

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