From Practicum to Practical: Biblical Studies Major Puts Knowledge to Work
(ABILENE, Texas) Zach Dean is a lover of the Bible and theology. He can often be seen in the library with commentaries spread across a table or chatting with a friend about questions of predestination or doubt. But Dean knows how to put into practice the things he’s learned in class.
Dean is a biblical studies major and biblical languages minor who will graduate in December. He has been working as a college ministry intern at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church since 2018. He helps lead Sunday school and weeknight Bible studies. He also helps set up and greet at Free Meal, Pioneer’s Sunday night ministry to college students.
“My classes at Logsdon have helped in a lot of ways,” he said. “I think what my Bible classes have taught me is the importance of trying to take the Bible seriously, not just when we look at the words on the page, but also when we look at our neighbor in front of us too.”
Dean emphasizes this sentiment in the Bible studies he prepares for his fellow college students. This summer, he’s focused on teaching spiritual disciplines and going through Jesus’ parables.
“One of my favorite things to see is when there’s a group of us looking at a text together, and somebody sees it in a completely different light because of what somebody else said. I love getting to see people get a new perspective on a text but also to see that reshape how they represent Christ,” he said.
Dean enjoys learning from an experienced college minister before overseeing a ministry on his own.
“I don’t feel like I’m being thrown off the deep end,” he said. “I’m learning these skills, but since I’m not the only intern, the responsibility is delegated among several of us. That way, it’s not all on my shoulders. It’s on four or five people’s shoulders, and we get to do this together.”
Impacted by a Christian Education
After feeling a call to ministry in high school, Dean knew he wanted to attend a Christian university. HSU offers degrees in ministry, religion, and biblical studies. Dean chose biblical studies because he saw it as a middle ground between the other two.
“You get some of the focus on ministerial application that you would find with a ministry degree, but you also have this theological emphasis that you would have with religion too,” he said. “Having both of those in one degree but also focusing on biblical scholarship captivated my attention.”
Dean says one of the most influential classes he has taken at Logsdon was Modern Theology.
“It helped me know myself better,” he said. “It helped me to recognize my humanity by looking at my place in history and what has influenced the context that I am in right now. I’m seeking to challenge my church community to recognize the limitations of things that might be overemphasized within our context but also encourage them to discover other possibilities.”
One of Dean’s favorite things about Logsdon professors is that they are involved in ministry in some capacity. “They’re not just readers of the Word; they’re doers,” he said.
Dean plans to attend Logsdon or another seminary after graduation. He would like to continue serving in college ministry or become a professor in Christian higher education.
“Even though my time at Logsdon is not yet finished, I would wholeheartedly say that my time there has helped prepare me for ministry,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that I have answers to this endless amount of questions, but that it’s helped equip me with wisdom when difficult situations arise.”