Meet Matthew Travis
Degree Sought: Doctor of Theology Degree
Matthew has recently accepted a Graduate Assistantship at Tennessee Bible College.
How did you find TBC?
I was originally drawn to TBC out of a desire to study the Scriptures in greater depth. I remember discussing with my family that I wanted to challenge myself to grow as a Christian beyond the level that is generally found in congregational Bible study. I decided that earning my Master of Theology degree at TBC was something that I wanted to do for myself in life. Not long after I began, a great deal of financial strain manifested itself. I went to ask if the college offered financial assistance. I was very happy to be able to continue my studies, due to the generous contribution of the Witty Scholarship. As I neared the completion of the Master’s degree, I realized I had gained more confidence and more knowledge about the Scriptures and about the defense of the gospel. My teachers also expressed their admiration for my work ethic. I determined I would carry on and study for the Doctorate degree; I even promised God that I would do so, because I knew that would keep me going when I was met with the challenge of more advanced study and the writing of a dissertation.
What is it that you have enjoyed about your studies with TBC?
Along the way, I earned great respect for this institution and its history and mission. This is a place where the preparation of Christians is placed as the top priority, not profits. This is a place where we seek the praise of Christ over the approval of men. I had made inquiries about perhaps teaching some courses at the college after I had earned my ThD, and I had asked questions about the nature of working for the College. I have always spoken very highly of it to others. I was surprised and humbled to be asked by President Hill to work as a graduate teaching assistant, under the supervision of Vice President for Academic Affairs Kerry Duke. I am currently researching the book of Act of the Apostles and it has been discussed that I might similarly research the Pauline Prison Epistles. Ultimately, if God wills, we are making plans for me to teach those courses in the future. It has also been discussed that I might occasionally offer tours for prospective students at the college and help to fill vacant preaching appointments. I currently preach by appointment for the church of Christ at Chestnut Grove in Morrison, TN.
How has TBC helped you in your ministry and spiritual growth?
Brother Duke is known throughout the brotherhood as a scholar of the highest order, and to be guided and overseen by him is a great privilege. We know that God is no respecter of persons, but we are appreciative of a heritage, at TBC, of teachers and students that can ultimately be traced back to the work of the great pioneer preacher Raccoon John Smith. It is exciting and sobering to look at where the church has come throughout the history of the Restoration Movement, bringing us to the present day and a return to New Testament Christianity. What I enjoy most about TBC is the mentorships and the relationships with good Christian men and women. This is a place where people truly act as Christians; there is no malice or two-facedness. Everyone here is an authentic, sincere disciple, and we love one another. That is such a breath of fresh air when we can often be discouraged by the duplicitous and wicked world at large.
The call for Christians to stand for the truth has never been more necessary. Our current world needs salt and light. We never know when we might reach someone who is lost or a Christian who wants to grow. Interestingly, in my case, I found TBC by chance; looking online, I believe I entered something in the search bar like: Affordable church of Christ affiliated Bible School. When I clicked on the link, it did not take me long to see that this was a place that valued the Bible and God, and I was drawn in from then on. Excepting of course for God and His Word, there is nothing to me of more importance than the church. It is our link to God and to one another, both those who are here and those who have gone on before. I love the church and I pray for its growth and righteousness. Tennessee Bible College comes next, as long as it continues to hold to the principles of service to the church that it was founded to provide, and, for the time being, it seems to be in very safe hands in that regard. This institution is no reed shaking in the wind!
You recently applied for an internship with another educational institution. We’d love to hear more about this and your plans for the future.
I have recently applied for an internship with the Heritage Foundation, the leading conservative think tank of the United States. I have always been interested in our government, and I would be interested to enter into a period of public service in my life, should the opportunity present itself. I would not want to be a politician per se; I believe this country needs statesmen, men and women who run campaigns based on sincerely held beliefs and advocate to influence and lead, rather than be influenced and lead about. Ultimately, I applied because I thought it would be a unique experience where I might meet some interesting people, and I wanted to have some understanding of how conservative and Christian values can be made to influence public policy. I hope to be accepted for the opportunity, and if I am, more information about my duties and the experience will be forthcoming.
To learn more, check out TBC’s Graduate Program.