“I'm here working on my master's in social work, but also on my master's of divinity at Truett. ... I've always had a passion for other cultures and other places, and so I was planning to move abroad and work for a nonprofit. But a couple of summers ago, I had the chance to go to Lebanon for two weeks to attend an international conference where Christians all around the world could come and discuss the refugee crisis and how the church should respond. ...
“I got to see and hear stories about how the local churches were responding, and it was really powerful, because I thought if every local church acted in their context the way these churches were acting in responding to social needs, and the way that they were witnessing despite the crisis and despite the social turmoil and political climate... The churches were just providing very tangible, practical needs for people, and with no strings attached. Not like, ‘We're doing it to convert you,’ but, ‘We're doing it because we feel mandated by our faith to love and serve all people.’ I just was so moved by the example of the local church there, so when I came back, it -- in conjunction with lots of classes I was taking at Truett about ‘What is the church?’ -- made me realize I think that's where God has called me. I think that God very much uses the local church to serve people, and so I really want to be a part of local church here.
“Baylor is a highly esteemed academic environment, but it still has that core Christian distinctive of, ‘How do we understand everything we do in light of our faith?’ And that's just one thing that I've felt throughout my education here, and with different professors, too. They genuinely care about you. I have some professors who invite me to coffee and lunch on a regular basis, and they have deep conversations with me and they help me grapple with the challenges of life and the nuances, recognizing that life is complex and we don't always end on set answers like we want to, but that it's okay to live in that tension. I also really appreciate the way professors have supported me in my doubt, while also encouraging me to keep searching for the truth, and not to be afraid when that truth is different than what you originally thought.”
Julia Wallace, BA '16
-- Theology/social work graduate student
-- Waynesboro, VA
-- One of thousands of #BaylorLights