November 19, 2008Article By: Suzanne R. Holsomback
"We were the Brady Bunch - even the part where I shared a room with two brothers," Chris Curran, a 1999 Truett graduate, says about his childhood. "My mom remarried a man with three children and my mom had three of her own... my step-father became a Dad that showed unconditional love." Before the joining of two families and six children, Chris' early life was deeply shaped by his parents' painful divorce. Chris says, "I imagine that one event has affected me more than any other event in my life."
After his mother remarried, Chris' life consisted of growing up in Katy, Texas, playing basketball, and having his faith nurtured in his local church. In 1995, Chris graduated from Baylor with his BBA in Finance and began at Truett Seminary in January of 1996.
Chris says people frequently ask him why he chose to attend Truett and he admits he does not have a ready answer. "Personally, I was struggling with the secret of why God chose me to enter full time ministry. The choosing of a seminary seemed secondary to the inner battles I had with myself. I had a friend who was at Truett while I was at Baylor and when I visited Truett [he] sold me on the community aspect of Truett."
Chris also credits Telling Secrets by Frederick Buechner as a pivotal book that helped clarify why he was at Truett and preparing for the ministry. Chris recalls a particular Buechner quote that impacted him deeply: "I suspect that it is by entering that deep place inside us where our secrets are kept that we come perhaps closer than we do anywhere else to the One who, whether we realize it or not, is of all our secrets the most telling and the most precious we have to tell."
Thinking over Buechner's quote Chris says, "I would suspect this to be true of me, the secret of not being seen as a failure, the secret that my life would mean something, the secret of not making mistakes has led me to the secret of God's grace I try to share with people."
Chris's concentration at Truett was theology; complete with Dr. Ruth Ann Foster's infamous questions for answers. While serving as an interim youth minister in central Texas he sought out people with whom he could discuss these difficult questions. While in seminary, Chris assumed he would be a pastor; however his first job out of seminary was as a Minister to Students, and ten years later he continues ministering to students through the local church.
Chris says, "One of the most fulfilling aspects of being a youth minister for the past thirteen years is that some of my former students are no longer youth, but adults. They are adults who are actively involved in the local body of Christ, adults who are actively serving in the kingdom of God, adults who have asked me to be part of their marriage ceremony, and adults whose faith in Christ is still active and growing. I like to think that just maybe I got to have a very small part in encouraging them and inviting them to the greatest adventure a person could have--following Jesus Christ."
Ministry has its difficulties and hurdles, and the daily decisions are the constant battles Chris admits he faces. While in seminary and in ministry some of his hurdles were singleness and the desire to be married, the reality that not everyone would like or accept him every day, balancing ministry, family, and school, and being able to ask for forgiveness. He says, "If the daily struggles count, my advice would be to keep struggling and when you make it through to the other side, one will learn a little more about God's grace and mercy and a little more about oneself as well."
Almost ten years have passed since Chris graduated from Truett and he still says, "I have never regretted my decision and would say that the three years I spent at Truett were three of the greatest years of spiritual formation in my life." After graduating from Truett, Chris moved back to the Houston area to serve as the Minister to Students at Jersey Village Baptist Church. He is now married and has two daughters and remains an avid Baylor athletics fan.