Name: Garrison Hayes
Major: Second year, Master of Divinity
Interviewed By: Torian Hill
What are some important things you do here at Andrews University?
I have the privilege of teaching a class in the Undergraduate Leadership Department and serving as a Student Chaplain for Campus Ministries.
Why did you decide to come to Andrews?
I probably wouldn't be here if the Seventh-day Adventist Seminary wasn't located at Andrews. So I'm here for the Seminary.
How do you manage the responsibility of being a Student Chaplain and your Seminary studies?
While the Seminary does its very best to keep me busy, I really believe the things I learn are virtually useless if I am not actively applying them and contextualizing them. So I see my job as a Student Chaplain as an extension of my Seminary work.
Do you want to work with young people for the rest of your time in ministry?
I love working with young adults, and I hope to do that for the rest of my life—especially collegiate-aged people. There's a special sense of optimism and opportunity peaking during your time in college, you know? It almost feels like you can accomplish anything, and go anywhere, and become anything by just switching your major, or hopping on a plane to be a student missionary. This time of life feels magical. I would love to help harness that magic for God. I'd love to do that as a University Chaplain one day.
What motivates you through the week?
I try to start my days by answering my "Why?" for the day or week. When I'm focused on why I am here, or why I am doing what I'm doing, I feel motivated and ready for whatever is ahead. On the other hand, the days when I haven't gone through that process my motivation is nowhere to be found.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned in life?
I spent many years being really angry with my parents for splitting up when I was 19 years old. I held them to really high standards, and when they didn't meet those expectations I couldn't bring myself to forgive them. I'd never go home for holidays, and I made little to no effort to reach out to them. I wasted a lot of time that could have been used to rebuild our broken relationship because I refused to forgive them. The greatest lesson I have ever learned in my life is the lesson of forgiveness. Humans are imperfect, and are constantly in need of forgiveness. The Bible says that we have already received forgiveness from God, so now it's our job to extend that same forgiveness to others. God helped me do that with my parents, and we are actively working together to build and rebuild our family.
Any words you would leave with students?
To borrow from the homie, Dory: “Just keep swimming!” Seriously, you can do this.