Martin Campbell: Biblical Studies, Biblical Languages and English triple-major, ESGA Senate president
March 26, 2012
Martin Campbell loves to learn as can be seen by his tackling three majors, one minor and one certification in his undergraduate coursework. Originally from Lawton, Oklahoma, Campbell is well on his way to graduate in 2012 with degrees in Biblical Studies, Biblical Languages and English. Though he remains meticulously devoted to his studies, Martin has found time to devote to several leadership roles: president of the ESGA Senate, director of Student-led Chapel and vice president of Phi-Sigma Tau. Though he is uncertain where God will guide his career path following his time at Evangel, he believes his life will be a time of learning and loving people.
Why did you choose Evangel?
My decision to come to Evangel, though multi-faceted, was ultimately based upon what I felt was God’s calling on my life. While I had a number of schools to choose from coming out of high school, I decided on coming to Evangel, in part, because of its excellent programs. A friend who I was rooming with enjoyed the top-notch Music program, and I enjoyed the Biblical Studies program. The Biblical Studies major to me seemed broader than practical ministry majors offered at Bible schools. Moreover, the courses that we visited were academically challenging, and the faculty members were not just intellectually engaging but personable as well. It was easy to make friends at Evangel on my visits, and its location in Springfield offers many opportunities for fun. Canoeing down placid rivers, exploring restored caves, eating culturally diverse foods, and touring neighboring areas like Branson are only a few examples of all the adventures that can be enjoyed in the area. All-in-all, I feel like God called me to Evangel and opened up the possibilities of my life whether I want to pursue ministry, law, government, writing, philosophy or science.
Did you visit Evangel’s campus before you arrived on campus as a student?
I visited Evangel multiple times during my senior year of high school, and I usually brought friends with me when I went. I fell in love with the place and enjoyed being there, so I kept coming back. If I’m not mistaken, the Admissions and Bed & Breakfast teams called us the “Lawton boys” because of our frequent visits. The students and professors were kind and fun to be with, and they were quick to welcome us. Because I lived about five hours away, the college visit was not the easiest task, but through these visits as well as meeting these excellent people, I learned that God wanted me to be a part of the Evangel community. Visiting the school helped my transition to college become much smoother than I ever anticipated.
Did you receive financial aid?
Yes. I received a presidential scholarship, and as I’ve taken classes in my departments, I’ve received other departmental and endowed scholarships as well. For example, this past year I received the Beverly Lewis scholarship from the well-known author of the same name who writes fiction about the Amish subculture.
Were there any obstacles you overcame in coming to Evangel?
The biggest obstacle to me was leaving the attachments and bonds I had with people back at home. It has been said that home is where the heart is, and for me people are like anchors that hold me in a certain place. My attachments are very strong to people I am most fond of. Nevertheless, I chose to come to Evangel, despite its being out of state, because I knew the growing experience and adventure away from home would ultimately benefit me. Now I know that God was not just a present reality in my hometown, but He is present wherever I may be. Moreover, I am more of an independent man and enjoy an original relationship with my Maker. I do not think I would know God in this way had I not overcome the fear of being separated from my attachments at home.
How did you decide on your particular areas of study?
I felt that I should put the kingdom of God first in my education by gaining a better understanding of the biblical text and its authors, and I felt comfortable with personal interaction. Therefore, I chose to pursue Biblical Studies and Biblical Languages as majors. While I believe that people can glorify and honor God in vocations outside of vocational ministry, I chose to emphasize these majors first because I am honestly interested in a number of different fields. Using these majors as a starting point, I hope that I can have a theologically informed perspective while possessing stronger purpose for humanitarian efforts.
I also chose the English major because I enjoy interpersonal dialogue that may happen in person or in writing. I love to read and to write, and it has been one of my dreams to write an artistic and engaging novel. On the side, I’ve finished requirements for a Philosophy minor and am working on ESL certification (teaching English as a second language). Philosophy really pervades every aspect of life and learning how to engage thoughts and understand the means a person may seek truth is pivotal for anyone in any field. Thus, I also chose to be involved with philosophy and Phi Sigma Tau with hopes that Evangel and other Christian institutions can be encouraged to develop stronger philosophy programs.
Finally, I feel I have a general love and passion for working with people from numerous backgrounds. Therefore, if I ever needed to work internationally, my background in ESL may offer some help in the future. Ultimately, I hope my educational pursuits never stop, especially since I am interested in computer science, political science, astronomy, law, humanitarian/relief work, and a host of other items. I hope that the majors I have chosen are only the beginning of a lifetime of learning.
What does the ESGA Senate do and how do senators’ achievements affect the campus as a whole?
Senate is a group of student-leaders who come together to write bills ranging from policy amendments/additions/omissions to projects – all of which is for the benefit of the student body. An official Senate meeting takes place bi-monthly to propose these resolutions and debate them. After voting positively for a given bill, the Student Body President presents the bill to the Board of Administration which then votes on it again. If the bill passes the Board of Administration, proper action is taken to see it through. A few examples of resolutions from this year include fixing up our volleyball court, creating a new position in the student government, buying furniture for some resident halls, purchasing lecture capture equipment, placing grills nearby the Perkins building, enhancing the chapel drum set, funding a sidewalk behind a resident hall, and creating a group that will meet regarding the dance policy on campus.
What kind of educational/service/leadership opportunities have you encountered?
Beyond being the Senate President, I have become the Student-Led Chapel Director, Phi-Sigma Tau Vice President, and a work study for Dr. Martin Mittelstadt. Student-Led Chapel offers alternate chapel credit to students on campus through a student-led service. Phi Sigma Tau is the philosophy club on campus and brings philosophers to have talks and discussions on a number of different philosophical inquiries. As a work-study with Dr. Mittelstadt, I have had the opportunity to gain experience through assisting the professor with grading, editing a book, and interacting with students with questions. Additionally, I have been on a church impact team (H20) as a part of CROSSwalk (a student ministry organization) and will always remember the wonderful team I got to work with. I served as the Theology Department Senator prior to being the Senate President.
Why should a prospective student choose Evangel?
A prospective student should choose Evangel if he or she would like to become more sensitive to God’s hand in any vocational pursuit he or she may choose. The Christian liberal arts college exists for those who want to grow closer to God and know that calling may include more than just speaking from a pulpit. Vocational ministry is a great and important position for the health of any community, yet it is my belief that Evangel University can teach individuals to honor God in whatever pursuit they have. Moreover, the students and professors that I have met will become life-long friends, and prospective students will hopefully share in the same joy of being with great people. Visit and see for yourself!