As a Christian leader in Rwanda, I am often coffer my opinions importantwithmyIn order to best serve my community, I must be equipped to articulate and apply mytheological to different areas and topics. The M.A. in Systematic Theology program and the liberal arts education at Wheaton College have taught me how to engage my theology in relationship with many other disciplines. I've had the privilege of listening to guest lecturers from different academic fields throughout my theology courses, and I learned a great deal on how theology interacts with the liberal arts.
I recently took a course about theology and the environment which was taught by Associate Professor of Theology Dr. Jeffery Barbeau. This course focused on a biblical and theological understanding of creation and it taught me how to teach others about God’s creation. This course also integrated theology with the arts and the natural and human sciences. Dr. L. Kristen Page, Professor of Biology, was a guest lecturer and spoke about the Christian responsibility of caring for the world, including people and the environment. Since I was a theologian and farming pastor from Rwanda, where 80% of the total country population lives on subsistence agriculture, this topic was especially interesting to me.
This summer, I will be working on an independent research study on “Stewardship in environment use: Farming God’s way in Rwanda towards an environment care theology.” In this study, I intend to develop a curriculum for a course on theology and soil care in Rwanda’s farming. This curriculum will be practically designed to equip Christian leaders in Rwanda with Biblical-based knowledge to improve environment care as they farm on a daily basis. Once equipped, the Christian workers will be encouraged to put these Biblical principles into practice and teach other church members and communities how to improve farming methods.
The liberal arts aspect of my masters in theology course has taught me how to integrate my work as a pastor and farmer with my Christian faith.
There I was, sitting casually in Dr. Barrett McRay’s class, sneakily checking my phone, when I let out a shriek. Before I knew it, everyone’s eyes were turned to me. I couldn’t unglue my eyes from the subject line of my most recent email: “Federal Bureau of Investigation—Congratulations!”
Over the next few weeks, as I weighed the offer to accept an internship with the FBI in Chicago, I reminisced about the excitement I felt when I met my first FBI agent in middle school. There was the idea of working for something greater than yourself: for justice.
Today I sit at my desk at the Bureau downtown, amazed at the chain of events that have occurred since I was offered my internship over a year ago. I’ve gone through a polygraph test, background investigation, internship credits, a hiring freeze, job applications, and an endless amount of questions: What does the future hold? Why do I really want to work for the FBI? And furthermore, can a career with the U.S. government build the Kingdom of God?
As I reflect on my years at Wheaton, I can’t pinpoint a specific class, experience, or individual person that has brought me to the place I am now. I wish we offered a class called “Working for the Kingdom of God and the FBI at the Same Time,” but that hasn’t made it into the course catalog (yet). What I can pinpoint is that my time at Wheaton has instilled in me an innate desire to use all I have to build the Kingdom of God.
Each day I walk into the office with a few questions on my mind: What is my ministry? How can I share experiences and interact with my co-workers in a manner that exudes Christ’s love? Each of these questions have been formed, honed, and modeled for me through my classes, conversations, and experiences at Wheaton.
What was a seed planted in my life by the living Gospel has been cultivated during my time at Wheaton. My desire to serve Christ’s Kingdom has been stroked, pruned, broken, challenged, revived, and most of all, empowered. It’s painted on a stone by Admissions, and proven in the lives of the people on this campus: Wheaton College truly stands “For Christ and His Kingdom.”
Somehow, for some reason, my resume was plucked out of a stack of hundreds as I made it to FBI Chicago with a badge and a desk—but also with so much more. The Lord has given me the unique opportunity to join the FBI, but Wheaton has given me a passion for Christ, for His Kingdom, and an army of believers to share this passion with. It is with this hope and truth that I step out in faith every day to build the Kingdom of God.
This post was written by a Wheaton College student who is currently working for the FBI and must remain anonymous