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Year: Junior

Major: Religion and Philosophy

Hometown: Tomball, TX

Q: What led you to SAGU? 

I knew ever since I met the Lord that I wanted to attend a Bible school to gain a deeper understanding of the theology that was rather fresh to me. I also wanted it to be a Texas school so that I could be relatively close to home, so I began looking at Bible schools in the state. Funny enough, SAGU never showed up on this list until a friend of mine showed me a SAGU brochure he received in the mail. I had never heard about the school before, but after looking at the multitude of ministry programs, I decided that this was where I wanted to go. I visited one Friday morning and applied a few weeks after.

Q: What have you been involved in on campus? 

I am most involved in the Student Missions Association (SMA), specifically in World Outreach. I accidentally signed up to lead a mission trip my first semester and decided that because the Lord had orchestrated the circumstances, I would see it through. I led a team of people to Montana to work with Native American youth, and afterward, I decided that I couldn’t stop there. I helped train the next year’s leaders and led another trip to central Asia. Through God growing passion in my heart and doors continuing to be opened, I stepped into the position of Vice President of World Outreach the following year. My involvement in World Outreach has been one of the biggest blessings of my life and has expanded my horizons of understanding and experience in so many ways.

In addition to this, I am also involved in SAGU Theater. Theater was actually the first thing I joined here at SAGU simply because I had done theater in high school. I have been in multiple shows (mostly my freshman and sophomore years) and have been so blessed by the program and community that exist in the department. I make it a point to try out for every show that my schedule can handle.

Q: What aspects of campus life have you enjoyed the most? 

I would say that I have most enjoyed the hospitable people and intentional professors. Since my first day on campus, I’ve felt like I belong and that there are people that care about me. The covid regulations during my first year did not stop people from being friendly and inviting (and it probably helped that we had all just come out of quarantine). There have always been good communities available to join, and I believe there really is a place for anyone.

I have also thoroughly appreciated the intentionality of so many of the professors on campus. Both of my parents graduated from a bigger university, and I had heard stories of the classes and professors, which is why I was awestruck after my first few weeks at SAGU. These professors went out of their way to talk and have meaningful conversations with me, often including prayer and sturdy Biblical wisdom. The fact that the professors actually care and do everything they can to make that clear is more than meaningful.

Q: How has your experience been with the Religion / Philosophy Department?

I have personally loved my experience in the Religion and Philosophy department. I am one of the only students pursuing this major currently, but the classes and professors that are a part of the program have been incredible in teaching and instructing me. I have learned so much and really gained a love for the deeper studies of philosophy and systematic theology.

Q: Have you had any professors who have positively influenced you during your time here? 

I have had multiple professors here on campus who have been influential in my life. Firstly, the first Sagu prof I met was Dr. Owensby. Dr. Owensby has an inspiring attitude and energy about him that light up any room he’s in. Dr. Yun has also been an amazing professor to have here at SAGU. He has really pushed me to understand everything I claim to believe and has helped me so much to articulate those beliefs in a professional manner. Of course, no professor spotlight would be complete without the de Freitas. Mr. and Mrs. de Freitas have been incredibly influential in my time here at SAGU, providing encouragement, guidance, and wise counsel.

Q: What drew you to your respective area of study / major? What professional aspirations and goals do you have for the future? 

I have always been interested in the deeper questions. My friends in high school would ask complex questions about Christianity and the Gospel, and while I could have found Bible verses to answer questions, they wanted more. I’ve always thought that if God created everything and the Bible is Scripture about Him and His creation, then science, history, and the study of life in general should fall in line. My question was always, “how.” In Religion and Philosophy, we discuss all of these deep and wide questions, seeking answers in truth and watching extra-Biblical studies align with what His Word says.

Q: How do you feel that your time at SAGU is preparing you for life after college? 

During my time here at SAGU, I have examined my learning and been able to observe four key components that my time here at SAGU has grown in me and that will prepare me for life after college. Firstly, I’m gaining experience. Everything from taking charge of personal responsibilities and schedule to leading mission trips and training students to take the Gospel around the globe, have all provided priceless experience that I would not have otherwise obtained. Secondly, SAGU has taught me how to properly research. In today’s western society, it is becoming increasingly harder to find solid truth as the lines of “what truth really is” are being blurred. With truth popularly becoming more and more subjective, doing sturdy research is a skill that is increasingly useful. Classes like Comp & Rhetoric II, Hermeneutics, and Systematic Theology have trained me in this skill and given me ample resources to continue to conduct good research in the future.

Thirdly, I have learned how to think critically. Part of the journey of studying systematic theology has been expanding my horizons and seeing multiple different sides of the same story. Through this and my studies in psychology, I learned to take a step back from my own thoughts and analyze them. Critical thinking is crucial for deciphering information received from multiple different sources and seeking to draw conclusions when holding it to truth. This has prepared me for my interpretation of politics, media, and even different theological stances. Finally, probably my most treasured gain at SAGU has been my various connections with so many amazing people. From wise theologians to talented teachers, missionaries, and lifelong friends, SAGU has been a greenhouse of growth for relationships that will play crucial roles in the rest of my life. I am so thankful for the friends I have made here and that will stick with me beyond these few semesters.

Q: How has your faith impacted the way you view your education and the personal goals you set for yourself? 

My faith in God is everything; without Him, there is no objective purpose in life, but with Him, everything in life is purposeful. Education is a tool to be received and utilized for the advancement of the Kingdom of Heaven, simply because He chooses to use us. My education is very important to me because this preparation is obviously important to God. My personal goals transform in light of this faith that lives in full abandon. They went from my projected career and desired relationships to a simple passion to know the Lord deeper and to seek His face. From there, He is directing my talents and passions, and He will faithfully lead me into whatever is next.

Q: What advice would you give to incoming freshmen? 

Do not let the spiritually saturated atmosphere of SAGU become a comfortable place to nest for a few years, but instead a training ground and miraculous greenhouse for the passion of God to grow in your heart. Despite the spiritual nature of the campus and community, it is so easy to lose sight of God’s will, mission, and calling for you to know Him deeper. Do not be coaxed into a place of comfort to the point that God becomes another item on a to-do list and things like chapel and daily prayer become arduous grinds. But instead, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8 KJV). Keep disciplined to stay vigilant and keep devoted community in your inner circle to keep you sharp so that you can remain in the presence of the Lord in your day-to-day and every day is another opportunity to know Him more; it’s from this place that God will show through to others in your life.

Brennan is receiving the training and support he needs to step into his God-given calling in religion and philosophy. At SAGU, we believe that God has a specific calling for each and every one of us. Through our learning community, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and real-world experience to foster your talents and pursue your purpose, just like Brennan! Click here to apply today!

As a leading Christian university, SAGU educates and prepares individuals who want to serve Christ and others. SAGU helps students discover and develop their 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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