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Howe, TX

July 19, 2019 | Andrew Hurst


Future Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) student Joseph Brennan has been selected as the top male recipient of the Assemblies of God (AG) 2019 Ashcroft-Riggs National Youth Scholarship.

The Ashcroft-Riggs Scholarship was created by the AG Trust and named after former General Superintendent Ralph Riggs and John Robert Ashcroft, two AG higher education advocates and former leaders of several AG colleges. The scholarship focuses on academic excellence, leadership through involvement in an AG church, and a student’s dedicated walk with God.

“I can’t put into words how much this helps,” says Brennan. “My parents have been gracious enough to help me with college and a lot of that money would have fallen on their backs. This scholarship pushed us over to the point where nearly all my tuition is paid for.”

Brennan has always felt that SAGU was the best option for him since visiting SAGU for the first time during a campus tour when he was in eighth grade. He continued to have opportunities to visit the university through his high school years due to the North Texas District Fine Arts competition being hosted at SAGU, Campus Days and University Fridays. “It just clicked for me. Sure, I looked at some other places but I just always knew SAGU was the place to go.”

Brennan was President of the National Honor Society chapter at Howe High School graduating in the top 6th percentile with a 4.08 grade point average. Outside of the classroom, Brennan was active in band, sports, the community and his home church, Harvest Time Assembly of God. He was a Percussionist in the Howe HS Marching Band, Running Back on the Varsity Football Team and was named Academic All-State for both Football and Baseball. He also competed in Powerlifting placing 3rd in regional competition, earned 2nd place for 100m dash in the Area meet and was a part of Howe HS’ Track team helping to break the school’s 20-year track record for the 4x100 relay. While his accolades as a student-athlete are noteworthy, the integration of his faith into all aspects of his life is his most impressive feat.

At Harvest Time Assembly, he served as a youth leader and played drums on the church’s worship team. He volunteered for a wide range of community service events and programs through his church. In addition to his involvement at Harvest Time, he sought a way to cultivate Christian fellowship amongst his peers at Howe High School the summer after his freshman year. He founded and served as President of the Fellowship of Christian Students (FCS), an organization similar in mission to the well-known Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). “It’s a spin-off of FCA but I wanted it to be open to everyone,” he says. “I didn’t want students to have a reason not to go just because they aren’t athletes.”

Brennan’s call to ministry will be further fostered at SAGU with plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Religion and Philosophy. “I don’t know exactly what facet or direction I want to go in yet, I’m just waiting on God. I also will be working toward a minor in marketing because I would like to have an online business one day.”

In response to what he is most excited about for the fall, Brennan simply stated, “the atmosphere. That was one of the things that really stuck out to me at SAGU - how genuinely kind everyone is. Going to a public school, it can be hard to maintain a Christian walk every day, so I am looking forward to being a student at SAGU, making lifelong friends, having a fantastic time growing in my relationship with God.”

To learn more about SAGU’s bachelor’s degree in religion and philosophy, click here


As a leading Christian university, SAGU educates and prepares individuals who want to serve Christ and others. SAGU helps students discover and develop their God-given callings in a Spirit-empowered, learning community.

We believe in affordable tuition, made possible in part through the financial support of donors who embrace the mission of SAGU and the importance of affordable, accredited programs to train Christians for leadership in ministry, business, education, and service.

Most majors are available in-person in Waxahachie, TX, and online through a wide range of associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

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