Master of Arts (Theology) and Master of Divinity student, Luke Steeves, reflects on his journey of faith in discerning God’s next steps in his education and in his life.
When I reflect on my story so far, I cannot frame it in terms of a clear “call.”
I grew up attending church, particularly enjoying interrogating Scripture texts and perceiving themes. I was the kid who raced to raise their hand first in Sunday School. My faith solidified in high school through experiences with Tidal Impact, Spring Forth, and camp ministry.
Though I was a committed Christian, when I graduated high school, I did not envision ministry in my future. I fervently asked God to show me what my career should be but heard nothing. After fleeing the frantic pace of an engineering degree, I ended up completing my undergraduate degree at Memorial University in pure mathematics. Though I was successful, I did not feel I would be able to have a tangible impact on people’s lives in that discipline. I took a year off, yet again hoping that God would speak up and tell me what my life should be.
Perhaps God would divulge a grand plan to me later; in the meantime, I knew I could never go wrong investing in my faith by auditing some courses at ADC. I was too late to sit in on winter courses, so I ended up just jumping into a Master of Arts (Theology) full time to see what might happen. It was a great choice!
ADC has a priceless asset in its community. My professors are incredibly capable scholars, but equally considerate people.
They share camaraderie with each other, and genuinely care for the wellbeing of students, both academically and holistically. Even a previously mechanical mathematician like myself found it impossible not to soften and join in on this compassionate community – they have shown me that scholarship and integrity go hand-in-hand. It has been a more recent pleasure of mine to interact more with the ADC staff as I’ve taken on some minor jobs at the college. In these interactions I have found that ADC’s warmth extends from the roots; I am fortunate to have been grafted onto it, even if only for a while.
My studies have also exceeded my original expectations. I was particularly keen to study biblical languages and was delighted to find an aptitude for them. Engaging with the original Greek of the New Testament has been particularly engrossing. This semester, for instance, I am excited to be taking Greek Exegesis of Matthew with Dr. Danny Zacharias, my MA supervisor – an experience I would not have imagined before starting my degree! So, too, delving into biblical studies and theology has been incredible.
ADC has been a place of both challenge and reassurance, where questions and difficulties are acknowledged, but firm faith is exemplified.
I have found much fruit engaging in class with issues like gendered God language, systemic injustice, and epistemology. However, many of my most meaningful conversations at ADC have happened, not when in class or working on homework, but when I was willing to break from my work to engage with other students in the day-to-day conversations of college life, ministry aspirations, and personal theological interests. Everyone has come with different stories, different goals, and different views. This diversity is a great strength.
Recently, I have embraced the advice of my professors to pursue a Master of Divinity as well as my MA. So far, my MDiv courses have been incredibly valuable for reflecting on my gifts, personality, and experiences. I have grown in concrete skills like preaching, while ruminating on abstract ideas, like embodiment. My heart for people has grown, and so too has my ability to provide care and understanding.
Despite this, I still have little or no sense of pastoral calling. Instead of the traditional Mentored Ministry position shadowing a pastor that most MDiv students experience, I have had the pleasure of being InterVarsity’s representative at Acadia as we rebuild and reimagine student ministries on campus. This has offered a good mix of relational ministry experience while doing theology in a real-life setting.
My current aim is to continue to delve into Biblical Studies, likely by taking further education. I envision myself eventually teaching biblical languages and doing research in New Testament, perhaps focusing on themes like atonement and sacrifice. As with the rest of my story, however, I thoroughly expect to take one step at a time, never knowing quite where the path will lead. I may do a PhD, be called into pastoring, or find an opportunity as yet unforeseen. So far, God’s faithfulness has led me step-by-step to a wonderful community and enriching work, providing as much as I need along the way. I am excited to see where God invites me to go next, and excited to continue learning and growing with the ADC community as I finish my current degrees.
Luke Steeves is a Master of Arts (Theology) and Master of Divinity Student at Acadia Divinity College. He lives and studies in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.