Hi, my name is Katherine Smith and I graduated earlier this month from Vanguard with a major in Religion. Everyone talks about the Vanguard community (and everyone opens with the line “Everyone talks about the Vanguard community…”) but honestly, the community and vitality that exists in this school has changed my life in more ways than I can count and for which I will never stop being thankful. Vanguard has a life to it, and I love that so much—I feel like I’m drawn into the current of ideas and purpose and learning just by being a part of this school. It’s hard not to get caught up in it! So many people here are genuinely looking to live life intentionally and push beyond the boxes of our cultures and internal struggles, to learn about themselves, to process their lives, to grow and learn about each other and God—I could go on forever about the things I love about Vanguard.
Without the scholarship and financial aid I received,
I would definitely not have been able to attend Vanguard.
It’s really as simple as that–none of it would ever have been possible without
the scholarships and financial aid I’ve received!
Really my only goal is just a life lived in pursuit of this God who has always been pursuing me and to learn more about Him in every way I can–through the people, places, through the experiences of this messy life. The paths I’ll end up taking along the way—that remains to be seen, and that’s definitely the fun part.
One tentative dream would be to one day work with an international relief organization and to be able to bring into the work of meeting tangible, physical needs the additional elements of pastoral care and psychology in the hopes of meeting the suffering people in ways that speak to the holistic person and the complexities of what it means to be human rather than just what’s tangible at the surface. I would love to live a life of loving and caring for the hurting people of this world like God has loved and cared for me.
My time at Vanguard has been absolutely transformational in so many ways, not just spiritual. But I would definitely have to say that the professors and staff here are unbelievable and have impacted my faith so much in the ways that they have loved me and been Jesus to me. I came in completely undecided as to my major and was as ready to major in English as I was to go into Business or Psychology but ended up moving over to be a Religion major within my first year just because of how much, even in that short time, God had been working in me through the professors and staff here, specifically in that department. I wanted to huddle as close to that flame as possible, and to learn as much as I could and glean as much wisdom from these amazing men and women as possible while I was here. I can definitely say that my understanding of my faith and my God and myself has been completely reshaped in the best possible way because of my time here. Again, I am so full of gratitude.
I’m going to miss this place immensely! I cannot say enough how thankful I am to these buildings and halls and grassy lawns and the people and faces who have filled them and made this a Home for me. I am so grateful for Vanguard.