Space and margins: Seminary student sees Briercrest as an environment for personal growth

Julie Cole | Nov 18, 2013
David Wicks with his wife Liz and sons Judah, Mason and Peter. David Wicks with his wife Liz and sons Judah, Mason and Peter.David Wicks with his wife Liz and sons Judah, Mason and Peter.

Bigger isn’t always better.

Briercrest seminary student David Wicks, who attended university for his undergraduate degree, says he believes the smaller class size at Briercrest is a bonus.

“You can get involved,” he asserted. “I remember in university – it’s so big. You are just a drop in the bucket. Sitting in math classes of like 300 and 400 students – you are just a speck. There were certain professors who taught first year kinds of classes and it was just a job – just get through the material.”

Wicks says at Briercrest the professors do much more than that.

“In some way you can go to any school and if you applied yourself and you were faithful to God and read the Scriptures, you’d probably grow,” Wicks explained. “But it just really helps to be in a place where the professors are doing that too.”

Witnessing his instructors’ personal interaction with the class material has deeply impacted Wicks.

“Oddly enough, as a counselling student, one of the most formative classes was studying Ecclesiastes,” he said of his class with Eric Ortlund. “It helped me to see performance in a new light. My own personal journey is struggling with the whole performance monster. Just seeing Eric struggle with that and be open about it and how Ecclesiastes and the Old Testament can actually speak to that (helped me) wrestle with it in a new way.”

The seminary student says the leadership opportunities he had at Briercrest also benefitted his life.

“I think for me, a big thing is confidence,” he exclaimed. “I would say the biggest (impact) is a sense of confidence – this is who Dave is, these are the gifts that I have. This is what God has given me. I have some sense of where God wants me and where He can use me, whereas before, coming here in a lot of ways I really had no idea.”

Next year Wicks plans to finish his internship and complete his degree. This summer he and his family plan to work with a First Nations ministry in Thunder Bay. Wicks says Briercrest has also been a good place for his wife and three small children to land after several years of mission work overseas.

“We came from a pretty chaotic ministry situation,” he explained. “We needed a quieter place. We needed a place we could feel safe where we didn’t have to be on hyper alert in a big city or something. We needed life to gear down a couple of notches. There’s so much in this world that can distract us and keep us busy. Having space and margin in your life is really important.”