By Tom Wilmoth
The Moot Court Room in Robertson Hall at Regent University was an appropriate location for Josh Calhoun’s college career to kick off during the summer orientation session in June. As an incoming freshman at the school, and the first student to receive the RENEWANATION scholarship provided by Regent, Calhoun has his eyes on pursuing a law degree.
“I desire to do my undergraduate studies at Regent University and from there I want to begin studies at Regent’s law department,” explains Calhoun about his plans for his studies. “After obtaining my degree, I want to begin my career working for agencies and firms that are fighting for the cause of Christ.”
And it all starts with this, his freshman year at the Virginia Beach school, where he begins his journey of independence. “Though my life will never be without the wonderful help and guidance of my family and mentors, for the first time ever it is up to me to ensure my success,” stated Calhoun, who was this year’s valedictorian at Parkway Christian Academy in Roanoke. “I have fears and uneasiness about the years to come as many would, but I am confident in the support of my Lord, my family and all those around me who have molded me and made me ready for this point. I am very happy to begin testing my training and teaching in these new doors that the Lord has opened for me and I know He will not let me down – therefore I will not let Him down.”
What is his biggest concern as he starts his college career? “The management of my time,” Calhoun answered.
“My biggest job will be to sit down the first few weeks and look at how much time I am devoting to first, my spiritual life so that I will not be taken captive by the things of this world; second, my studies which is the reason why I am going to Regent; and then all the things that follow these two, such as staying healthy, sleeping, working and recreation,” he said. But he trusts both the guidance his parents have given and the leading of the Lord. “With His help, my parents help, and a few of hours of sitting down with a piece of paper and deciding what matters most, I can overcome this concern and prosper greatly because of it,” he said.
Calhoun spent this past summer – one of his truly last “free summers” – getting ready. That has included working at Chick-fil-A. “The experience there has been great for me, not only providing a paycheck and a means to pay for gas, but also for teaching me to do the best work I can possibly do, no matter what the situation, and always being quick and courteous to the needs of authority figures, coworkers, and customers alike,” Calhoun said.
But that hasn’t been all he’s done. He’s worked at staying in shape and he also began learning a new language – French. All of that on top of his normal ministry duties of passing out bread and playing guitar for the Eastlake Community Church youth and at the Hispanic church. “We have been working with my mother and many other Hispanics who are ready to take the mantle of leadership in the instrument area of our worship department and God is doing a great work there,” he said. “My summer has been fun and is preparing me for what I enjoy the most – that is excellence.”
Part of his summer activities also included attending Regent’s orientation event in June. That experience allowed him to meet other incoming freshmen as well as staff and faculty at the school. “The ease of transition around the campus with class scheduling, joining clubs, getting books, establishing my rooming accommodations, and working with financial aid, was extremely easy, and I am more than prepared not only scholastically, but socially as well,” he said. “One can easily see, as I did, that Regent’s focus is on Christ’s mission (of saving those who are lost through whatever means God has blessed them with) and that alone. These three things – fellowship, being proactive with the students and their studies, and most importantly their zeal for Christ – have more than assured me and put the majority of doubt, fear and uneasiness far behind me in this changing time of moving away and starting anew.”
So what will a successful freshman year look like to Josh? “To see growth in three areas: mentally, physically and spiritually,” he said. “A successful year would be to maintain the best grades I can obtain in all of my classes, to stay healthy and manage my time so that I am never weary but always able to fight the good fight, and to be growing in the knowledge and grace of my Savior Jesus Christ. If all these things are accomplished, then I will know that my time spent at college this year has been a success, that I am headed in the right direction and that the Lord is with me seeing me through to the end.”
He wants the flame that has been lit by the Lord in his heart to continue to grow. “The gifts that He has given me have directed my focus towards law, defending His truths against the evil of this day, and providing just legislation for believers to continue on their own Great Commission. My testimony in the world through those I will represent as well as the cases I choose to fight for, will enable my goal of reaching the lost. My life’s work is to be a vessel used by Him to hold back the forces of evil until His mighty return. … He has led me to my current stead in life, and it is He who gives me life each day. In this I want to glorify my Lord Jesus Christ.”
And he appreciates the opportunity the scholarship provides. “It has taken a great burden off our shoulders and has been an answer to prayer as to where the Lord wants me to go and has attested to His great provision in my life,” he said. “In accepting this great gift, I also understand and accept the great responsibility that comes along with it. Being accountable both to those who have entrusted this gift to me and foremost to God, I will do the absolute best I can to fulfill and exceed the expectations presented to me.”
Editor’s note: Josh Calhoun has been named as the recipient of the first scholarship provided by Regent University to a student at a RENEWANATION affiliate school.
Volume 2 Issue 4 - The Renewanation Review