Fourth Year Reflection: Titus Matthews
How did you first get connected to the Center for Christian Study? Describe your time at the Study Center over the past four years.
During the fall of my first year I was exposed to the Study Center’s illustriousness through one of their lectures, entitled “Genesis 1 and the Claims of Science” with John Walton. After the talk, I remember being fascinated and humbled by the visible Christian presence here on Grounds. Consequently, I wanted to learn more about the Study Center and see what the Lord had for me there. Little did I know that it would be the most life-changing experience. The Study Center has been integral in my time here at UVA. The past three years I often came to the Study Center to do homework, eat lots of food, and socialize (emphasis on the last two). I attended various lectures, and I joined Jay McCabe’s undergraduate men’s Bible study and the "Christianity and Economics" reading group. For my final year here I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to participate in the Elzinga Residential Scholars Program. It has been a privilege to be a part of a community that is intentional about faith and fellowship. I’ve experienced real brotherhood through the program and have grown in my walk with the Lord by seeing the other residents live out their lives for Christ. Our weekly times together have given us the opportunity to be vulnerable with one another and share God’s grace and forgiveness by constantly looking towards the cross.
Looking back as a fourth year getting ready to leave the University, what has the Study Center meant to your time at UVA? How has it made a positive impact on your walk with Christ and your experience at the University?
The Study Center wholeheartedly embraces Christ’s mission to reach and to serve, and I am indebted to them for all the love that they have shown me. The Study Center has fostered an authentic community for Christians and non-Christians from all different backgrounds and, through meeting people from various ministry groups, I’ve been able to see and celebrate the work that God is doing around Grounds. From pulling late nights with people in the Richman Room, to praying together with SEEK and International Justice Mission in the main meeting room, I am extremely blessed to have met so many incredible brothers and sisters. I know that I would never have been able to experience the body of Christ in such a tangible way without the Study Center. I’ve also really appreciated how the Study Center has engaged theology and built a bridge between intellect and faith. Being at a prestigious university, it is imperative that Christians understand the foundations and consequences of theology, and the Study Center has been a vital part of that process for me. My conversations with both students and staff at the Study Center have given me a greater appreciation for the gospel. The many lectures that I’ve attended have also allowed me to see Christ and his sacrifice in a new light. From vocational decisions to racial reconciliation in America, the Study Center has continually addressed relevant topics that impact our world. Furthermore, I really enjoyed taking Bill Wilder’s class on the New Testament this past year through the Elzinga Residential Scholars Program. We looked at scripture passages through a redemptive-historical lens and grappled with subjects like the annunciation of Christ and covenantalism. Through Bill’s teaching I have learned to not only view God through experience, but through reason and analysis as well.
What is special about the Study Center that you want to communicate from your perspective as a fourth year?
I can personally attest to the great care that the Stud provides for each person that walks through its doors. I connected with Jay McCabe during my third year, and through his mentorship my faith has transformed in amazing ways. Jay has supported and challenged me to see God’s grace in several areas of my life, and I know that I am a stronger follower of Christ because of him. I consider Jay not just a mentor, but also a brother, a father, and a friend. Jay and the rest of the staff are true examples of Christ, and they have impacted so many people with the truth of God’s love.
Anything else you would like to add?
I would encourage everyone to check out the Center for Christian Study and take advantage of all that it has to offer. From the lectures and Bible studies to the Elzinga Residential Scholars Program, I have had an unforgettable experience. As my time here at UVA nears to an end, I know that I am equipped for the world because of the Study Center. The Lord has blessed me along with countless other students, and I am confident that He will continue to do a good work both in and through this wonderful institution.