From Porch to Pit: Reflections from a Recent Grad

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On a morning walk with Amber Younger, the Director of Christian Life at the NC Study Center, she shared with me a small word of wisdom that shaped my remaining semesters at UNC. At the time, I was half-way through my junior year, feeling overwhelmed. I shared with Amber that I felt weary at the prospect of stewarding everything well. She pointed me to the Lord’s Prayer, where Jesus instructs his disciples to pray for bread for one day at a time. With that language as my model, I too was to ask the Lord only for the wisdom and grace needed to handle each day as it found me.

That wisdom has personally served me well over the past year and a half, but it also reflects a mentality the Study Center embodies. Amidst all the hospitality, events, and life-changing programs, the mission of the organization is never lost, as its activities strategically meet the intellectual, spiritual, and vocational needs of students wherever they are.

The Study Center does not host activity for activity’s sake, but approaches every event as an opportunity to serve God and love people.  Several events and programs stick out to me as remarkable from the last few years. Thanks to the Wilberforce Conference and faith and work lunches like one from Nathan Clendenin, I’ve learned about lives shaped by our vocation to work well and for God’s glory. A talk by Bethany Jenkins directed my discernment in navigating internship decisions, and Tish Harrison Warren taught me about my place in the global church.

In addition to hosting amazing events and programs, the center partners with student efforts to bring thought and creativity to campus. I’ve led multiple student-run organizations that flourish from the support of the study center. We’ve received space, guidance, and expanded reach thanks to the Battle House. I have seen the center bring good ideas to fruition that otherwise might not have the resources to take off. As a result, students are provided with the pragmatic and relational tools to grow holistically.

Probably most important to me, in the quiet moments of each day, the Battle House staff continue to prioritize caring for the soul of every individual student.  Amber exemplified this in her willingness to meet with me regularly, making time to routinely hear me unload my burdens. We sit on the Carolina blue rocking chairs that decorate the porch, sipping complimentary coffee from one of the Battle House’s quirky mugs. She is never rushed or hurried. Instead, in our time together, she seems to offer her heart and time fully to me.

Each day is full of its own programs, interpersonal conversations, and cups of coffee. And each day, the Battle House resolves to steward all parts of it well. I cannot understate the spiritual, vocational, and personal growth I’ve experienced because of the Battle House and the mentorship I’ve received from the staff. As I approach graduation, I can’t imagine my college experience without the North Carolina Study Center.

–Holly Harris, Class of 2019

2018-19 Year in Review Slideshow

Summer is off to a great start here at the Battle House! Our grad and faculty reading group partnering with InterVarsity is in full swing. Summer Bible studies kicked off last week. And the space has been a restful (literally, with quite a few couch naps!) and nurturing, studious place for students taking summer classes.

Below, enjoy a brief look back at all that happened this year at the Battle House. Thank you to every student, volunteer, and supporter who helped bring it to life!

Interested in what else we have going on this summer? Check out our Events page for more!

Regent College x NC Study Center: Summer Course

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Over the past few years, several of our staff, board members, students, UNC faculty and volunteers have travelled to Vancouver, British Columbia during the summers to participate in Regent College’s much acclaimed summer school program, taking courses in Scripture, theology and Christian ethics. These week-long Regent courses have shaped the teaching caliber of our staff, the vocational discernment of our students and the faith-work integration of board members and friends.

This inspired us to explore the possibility of hosting Regent faculty members to teach week-long courses in Chapel Hill during the summers so that more students, faculty, alumni, and community members could have access to this opportunity. After several conversations with Regent’s President Jeff Greenman, we’ve discovered that Regent is not only open to this idea, but is highly enthusiastic about it.

We are offering a course this summer, hosting Dr. George Guthrie the week of Monday, July 29 – Friday, August 2 to teach on the book of Hebrews. Dr. Guthrie is a respected New Testament scholar, a gifted teacher, an author of several books and commentaries and has served as a Consultant/Reviewer of the book of Hebrews for the English Standard Version translation of the Bible. He comes highly recommended by friends as a lecturer and as someone who we will enjoy spending time with.

The course will run from 9am - 12pm each morning, Monday, July 29 - Friday, August 2. There will likely be opportunities for participants to gather for optional evening meals and lectures. There are two options for participation:

  • Audit the course — Participants would not be asked to write papers. Auditors will pay $50 to cover course costs.

  • Take the course for credit — Credit students must complete all assignments and will be graded. These credits can go toward a diploma or degree. Each credit hour corresponds to approximately 45 hours of work in the form of class lectures, readings, and assignments. Participants will pay $395 to receive credit.

There will be optional lunches and fun afternoon activities, as well as an evening lecture. Details on those those will be announced later this summer.

For now, you can REGISTER HERE!

We are thrilled to have this opportunity for Christian education for our community. We’re also grateful for Chapel Hill Bible Church, Holy Trinity Anglican Church of Chapel Hill, and InterVarsity Grad + Faculty Ministries and their enthusiasm to partner with us on this new venture.

This course is open to all, so please share the information with anyone who may be interested!

Feel free to contact Matt Hoehn (matt@ncstudycenter.org) with any questions.

Announcing our first Director of Spiritual Formation: Bill Boyd

We are excited to announce that Bill Boyd will be joining our team on July 1, 2019 as Director of Spiritual Formation.

The NC Study Center has grown rapidly over the past three and a half years. As more people and ministries utilize our resources (facilities and programs), the danger is that our impact will become increasingly thin. We desire for students and faculty to grow in Christ intellectually, spiritually, and in mission. This kind of impact can be supported by seminars and speakers but at ground level it will always be relational. After strategically considering our growth and the needs of the UNC community, our board and team decided to prioritize hiring mature new staff in spiritual formation. We have amazing opportunities to shape lives, as over 125 visitors a day drop in for conversation, classes, and relaxation.

The DSF will direct the NC Study Center’s spiritual formation efforts by working directly with students, training staff, and helping the Study Center develop a vision for Christ-like maturity. Day-to-day this will involve one-on-ones, small group discussions, and occasional seminars and talks. The DSF will also teach our staff to make the most of the opportunities we are already creating in our daily rhythms and other gatherings. Our goal is no less than to form students in the image of Christ by helping them grow in knowledge, wisdom, and love.

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Bill Boyd will be coming to us after having worked in spiritual formation in different settings for over three decades - on college campuses, in churches, and at Alpine Camp for Boys. A native of Mississippi and an ordained PCA minister, Bill launched Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) at UT Austin before planting All Saints Austin and later pastoring at Covenant Presbyterian in Birmingham, AL. Bill has worked extensively in spiritual formation and has given many sermons and lectures on associated topics around the world.

Please join us in praying for Bill, his wife Martha, and their four children (two in college this Fall of 2019), as they prepare to join us in North Carolina. May the Lord continue his beautiful work in Chapel Hill and in the lives of students through them!

Summer 2019 Announcements

It’s the start of Spring Break here in Chapel Hill, and at the Study Center we’re already getting ready for summer! The two main programs we’re most excited about, back for their second summers, are Carolina Way Camp and the Wilberforce Civic Leadership Project. Whether you’re an incoming first-year, returning UNC student, or a community member supporting Christ’s work at UNC through Study Center, learn more about these programs below!

Carolina Way Camp

Last August, we hosted our first ever four-day camp for incoming first-year students. The camp’s success far exceeded our expectations, and we are so thankful to be back again this summer! Staff applications are now open for current students, and the camper registration form will be live soon. If you are an alum, community member or parent and would like to directly support the mission of CWC, learn more about how to do so here.

Wilberforce Civic Leadership Project

The Wilberforce Civic Leadership Project, or WCLP, is an opportunity for UNC students to gain paid, hands-on experience working and serving alongside faith-based nonprofits in Kinston, NC. Last summer, three students interned with Hope Restorations. Through tangible acts of service and deeply relational experiences, students were able to grow individually, spiritually, and vocationally. This summer, we’re excited to partner again with Hope Restorations, as well as Hope Preparatory School! Current students can learn more and apply here.

Please join us in prayer that students would finish the 2018-19 school year strong, as we prepare for big things happening this summer, and that Christ’s love would continue to be seen and known in Chapel Hill!