Student Q&A: Matthew Davis

February 12, 2018
Matthew Davis
What brought you all the way to Truett Seminary in Waco, Texas from New York?

I was looking for schools that had a strong theological education and a strong music program. I had been in New York all my life, and I wanted someplace different. There was a minister who was a student here at Truett-his name is James Taylor-who came to my church and was telling me about Baylor. I hadn't even heard about Baylor or the Baylor Bears, but he said check out the school; he had really enjoyed his time there and was getting ready to graduate.

I went online and I loved what I saw, so I applied sight-unseen. Truett was the only school I applied to. But after prayer and asking God to lead me directly to a place where I could really be formed, I did apply, and here I am three years later.

Tell us a little about what it looks like to be a joint Master of Divinity/Master of Music student.

I think my approach to the joint degree is a bit unique because everyone is a musician, an instrumentalist or singer, but I'm approaching both of these programs from a preaching style, if you will. I want to learn how to build up a worship and arts ministry, how to incorporate music in my preaching.

So even though I'm learning music theory and I'm learning the ins and outs of worship in the church, I'm really looking forward to taking this degree and building up a worship and arts ministry and showing people that there are different avenues and different ways to connect with God beyond singing. It can be incorporated in preaching and you can still get the message across.

Can you describe your role as a member of Truett's Student Recruitment Team?

I serve as the Diversity Recruitment Coordinator for the Student Recruitment Team. I get in touch with the historically black colleges and universities, the Hispanic colleges, and even different denominations. I reach out to them to see how we can get connected, whether that means they send us students or that we just begin to establish a relationship. I'm always making phone calls and sending emails, but it's very fulfilling.

In addition to the Student Recruitment Team, you are also the Worship Coordinator for Truett's weekly Community Gathering for Worship. How is that position going?

It has really been fun! I'm really enjoying it.

It's my responsibility to coordinate with our musicians and those who want to read Scripture, contact our preachers who are coming in to get their text and overall message of their sermons, and then to develop a worship service around that while also being mindful of the needs of our Truett community. I want to make sure everybody feels heard in the service. That's not saying we can meet every person's needs every week, but we want to create a place where you can come in every Tuesday and encounter God.

As I was praying over this past Christmas, I just heard "revival" in my spirit. Now, I know revival can take different forms, but I think we had reached a place where people didn't find the importance of coming to Chapel anymore. My desire is for people to be inspired to come and to bring their friends and to sit and bask in the presence of God. I try to be creative so we can experience him and encounter him in different ways, but you leave learning something from the Word and something from the experience.

What has been one of the most impactful parts of being a student at Truett Seminary?

Having professors who care about you has been very impactful. I really appreciate how pastoral our staff is. Even when you try to hide it, they'll ask, "Are you okay?" and somehow, they'll look right into your soul and see that something's wrong. And they'll take the time to stand with you and have a conversation or to set up a time in their office.

Dr. York is my guy. I had him all last semester at 8:00 in the morning every day for Christian Worship and African American Hymnody. How he prayed for us and asked about our families really impacted me. He's very down to earth, so I can go into his office and sit in the rocking chair and he'll say, "What's going on?" I really appreciate those conversations and that relationship.

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