Associate Pastor of Community Outreach, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Irving, TX
My name is Harry Smith, and I’m a 2010 grad of Baylor’s University Scholars and Honors Program. During my time at Baylor, I focused my studies in Classics, Religion, and Church Music.
Since my time in the Baylor Classics program, my life has taken some unprecedented turns. I moved to St. Louis in 2010 to pursue an M.Div. from Concordia Seminary, while simultaneously studying for an M.A. in Classics from Washington University in St. Louis. Over the course of these four years I had the opportunity to wrestle with how much the ancient world (especially the Roman world, of which I am particularly fond) intersects with the world we see around us today. For example, I was able to witness how Tacitus’ Annals spoke of the beginnings of Rome’s cultural downfall, and consequentially and how that was mirrored in the life of the church. And I was able to draw on the knowledge base and intellectual framework that Baylor Classics afforded me to see the world in a whole new way. Though I did not finish my M.A. in Classics, I graduated with my M.Div. in 2014.
After that, I received another M.A. from Wheaton College in Intercultural Studies, and am now serving as a multicultural church planter and pastor in the DFW metroplex. Every single day I am keenly aware of how studying Classics has benefitted me. Far beyond skill-building, Classics has brought me the gift of perspective and an appreciation for what effects the narratives of the time have on people. When you can help people enter into the greater narrative of life (and life in the Lord), you can help them find meaning, experience hope, and access joy.
Oh, and one last thing. I met my wife in Prof. Hanchey’s class on Cicero’s Tusculan Disputations. I definitely got more out of that class than I was expecting!
My encouragement to you all: keep reading and never stop learning, friends.