Meet the 2015 Outstanding MSW Student

"I desire to see partnership and collaboration between congregations and social service agencies in Africa and to see them organized and engaged in the community development process," John David.

John David Award 2015

John David is a second-year Global Mission Leadership student, is a dual-degree Baylor student, is a pastor from Nigeria and will be sitting for his social work licensure exam in May!

"I initially came to Baylor for the master of divinity program at Truett Seminary, but was excited to realize that I could complete a dual degree with social work," John noted.

John enrolled in the program because of his passion for service to humanity and the hope of seeing transformation in the communities he serves back home in Africa.

"In the course of my ministry as a pastor back in Nigeria, I realized that there is a lot congregations can offer to their communities that can lead to true transformation," John said. "However, very few congregations are engaged in their communities as a way of investment in the transformation and development of those communities. In view of this, I wanted to be trained to adequately engage congregations and community stakeholders in this process."

John hopes to respond to some of the social issues in his community in a professional way and not in a hurtful way, and believes the School of Social Work is preparing him for that very mission.

"I desire to see partnership and collaboration between congregations and social service agencies in Africa and to see them organized and engaged in the community development process," he said.

John sees the needs of people all around him and is passionate about helping to address them in a meaningful way. Tough social issues like poverty, hunger and injustice are just a few he feels he was put here to address and do his part in alleviating.

"I believe God, in His sovereignty, gave me physical and spiritual life in Him for a purpose, and I want to live to fulfill that purpose," John said.

Inspiration for John comes not only from God, but also from his family. He and his wife, Chabraba, have been married for eight years, and they have two daughters, Callidora (6) and Charissa (2). He notes that his parents have also been great influences. His father died in 2004, but he and his mother’s sacrifices have allowed him to be here and have guided him in the right direction.

"This award means so much to me. It has been a humbling experience, as is my journey in life," John said. "God has blessed me in different ways with a supportive wife and children as well as a supportive family in Nigeria. Therefore, receiving this award is a way of presenting something that shows them that their sacrifice has been worth it."

Written by Nikki Wilmoth