Today’s article is written by alumnus Stetson McElhaney! He is the youth and family pastor at Kimberly Christian Church. He is from Clark Fork Idaho, a town 430 people. Stetson graduated Boise Bible College in 2014 with his Bachelors of Science in Christian Education. He is married to his beautiful wife, Danielle. He is committed to help disciple and shape the lives of teens, young adults, and future church leaders.
When I look back at my time at Boise Bible College, there are many parts of my time at BBC that stick out. For me, it’s the faculty and staff at BBC. Looking at the different colleges that exist there is always something that makes it stick out, maybe it’s a sports team, location, or the history the school has in certain programs. What made Boise Bible College stand out are the staff and faculty. From the first day of move in I remember the student dean, Travis Jacob, walked into my dorm and spent ten minutes talking and introducing himself. For someone who had just moved 500 miles to a town where I only knew three people in all of Boise, that was very welcoming. What I want people to realize is that at BBC the staff and faculty are not there to help you get good grades and graduate. The staff and faculty are there to help each student become a better person, learner, leader and Christ follower. They genuinely care for every student that they get a chance to interact with. Here are a few moments that really stood out to me at BBC during my five years.
In chapel it’s always great to hear professors preach. At BBC you get to listen to other guests preach, but for me it’s always the professors that have stuck out. I remember listening to Academic Dean and Professor Chuck Faber preaching a few years ago, “nothing good happens after 2 AM.” Where he told a story of some people he helped at night. Looking back, that sermon sticks out to me and it’s a phrase I continually remember. Especially as I look at events that have happened with people I know, students I work with, and celebrity’s that we allow to have influence our lives. What if they had gotten to hear that message? Would they have taken that advice? I remember Travis Jacob speak on a topic on entitlement, something that is gripping our young adults today, he said “No one owes you anything.” I still remember that chapel as I’m writing this article. Those words served as a great lesson that I have taken into my life even after I graduated from BBC.
In the classroom I remember feeling discouraged many times by academics, because the classroom was where I truly struggled. I see many people that I know that let their struggles in the classroom win. However, the professors at BBC genuinely caring for my success in the classroom drove me to do better. I never gave up; even though there was several times that I wanted to. It was the encouragement from the great professors at BBC that offered me encouragement countless times when I struggled, but they also called me out of my laziness when sometimes I would not do my best when I could do better. They did this by upholding their high academic expectations and not wavering on their expectations in the classroom. I truly felt that the professors believed in me and my ability to conquer my academic struggles. Without that, I would not be as prepared for life and ministry as I am today.
The last part that really stuck out to me was outside of the classroom. The staff and faculty at BBC genuinely care for the students at BBC outside of the classroom as well. There have been many chances I have had to build relationships and community with professors and faculty outside of BBC. I developed lifelong friendships by participating in family group events and meeting one on one with professors at coffee shops. I remember professors who intentionally sought me out to meet one on one to help me, or just to offer encouragement and life advice when they thought that I needed it.
I remember our weekly football Sunday gatherings at Travis Jacob’s house, something that I always looked forward to and still miss today. He didn’t have to open his house to us on Sundays, but it’s something he and his wife did, and it helped build a lifelong friendship. I also accomplished my goal of riding my first century ride (100 miles), as a part of a cycling group that was started at BBC. Travis Jacob had a passion for cycling and fitness and wanted to share that passion as well as help those who wanted to accomplish those same goals.
I truly would not be the person that I am today without the personal investment in and outside the classroom that the BBC staff and faculty has made in me, even as a alumni getting to know and seek advice from professors who were not at BBC when I was there has been great.
What stands out to me truly is the staff and faculty at BBC, without them and their investment in the students at BBC the school would not be as successful as it is today. I want to personally thank every staff and faculty at BBC, those that I know and don’t know. Thank you for your investment to the church and students at BBC. You are truly making a difference in the lives of the future leaders of the church, and helping shape the lives of soon to be lifelong church leaders!