Evangel Profile

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!

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