Our Head of School, Mr. Nix, likes to say that the goal of a Veritas education is not college admissions, but rather the formation of a person who loves to learn, thinks and reasons clearly, engages their community faithfully and will sincerely pursue God’s purpose and leading in their life. While that path often begins with a traditional four-year college degree, it may also include local or global missions, technical or mechanical training, a gap year, seminary or other next step following graduation.
In this profile, Director of Communications Sara Kennedy interviewed 2014 graduate Luke Gregory, who is currently halfway through a one-year intensive Biblical Foundation program at Word of Life Bible Institute in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. This is a summary of their conversation.
SK: Luke – You chose a non-traditional next step following graduation from Veritas. Tell us what you chose and why.
LG: My dad has been on staff with Word of Life for a long time, so the program was always on my radar, but I never really considered it for myself until near the end of high school. Though I’d been accepted to Liberty University’s engineering program, I became increasingly convinced that God was leading me to devote a year of intense study to His Word before transferring to more traditional college life next August.
At Word of Life, I take four courses at a time, and am also responsible to memorize Scripture and engage in mission work during my time in the program. Right now, my classes focus on Christology, Old Testament survey and the Book of Revelations. Thankfully, my credits will transfer; so I will enter Liberty as a Sophomore next fall.
SK: Has the experience so far met your expectations? Any regrets?
LG: In some ways, the classes have been more challenging than I expected; in other ways, I was more than prepared. From my years at Veritas, I know how to study. My background in Latin, as well as Greek and Roman history and culture have been invaluable – and Upper School theology, as well as Old and New Testament survey classes – gave me a strong foundation to understand more difficult seminary-level material. I’ve even had the privilege of tutoring some of my fellow students!
Perhaps more than course work, going to school at Veritas – with teachers whose Christianity was authentic and attractive and who knew me well – prepared me for this year. My classes now are seminar-style, with many students in one classroom and little opportunity for discussion. I miss sitting around a table with my classmates, debating a great book or theological point of view.
I am also challenged by the out of classroom expectations at Word of Life, particularly an upcoming opportunity to join 40 or so students sharing the Gospel in New York City this spring. But God is faithful – in fact, I had the opportunity to share with two high school students during a fall outreach opportunity who are now my brothers in Christ. That’s pretty awesome, and definitely helps me when I get nervous about New York.
I have absolutely no regrets about choosing this program. My faith has been strengthened and stretched, I’m given many opportunities to live courageously and I feel more ready to tackle university life next year.
LG: To be honest, it took graduating for me to realize how much impact Veritas had on my life. I wish I had slowed down and appreciated what it meant to have teachers who really knew me, and cared about me, both academically and spiritually. As I talk to students at Word of Life about their high schools, I realize that Veritas is really unique – from the House system that encourages getting to know students throughout the Upper School to the opportunity to play a lot of sports, even if you aren’t the best athlete, to study skills and lots of writing practice, Veritas helped me grow in every area of my life.
I would also encourage students to take Mr. Nix seriously when he says we should consider what God would have us do after graduation – not just to focus on which colleges offer admissions, but to choose prayerfully the next steps that will form and shape who we are becoming. Decisions made in high school, whether good or bad, can follow us for a long time. I pray that students at Veritas will know they have advocates in their teachers and their parents who want to help them make wise, God-honoring choices about life after graduation.
SK: You’ve given this year to intense Bible study. To close, can you share a favorite Scripture passage?
LG: [Grinning] Yes – Proverbs 22:17-19 (ESV)
17 Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise,
and apply your heart to my knowledge,
18 for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
if all of them are ready on your lips.
19 That your trust may be in the Lord,
I have made them known to you today, even to you.