When Hannah Rudd transferred to The Master’s University in the spring of 2022, she was ready for a new environment, but she didn’t anticipate exactly the kind of heart shift she would experience.
Rudd graduated in May with a degree in liberal studies (teacher education emphasis). As she reflects, she can see how just three semesters at TMU have guided her into genuine relationships with Christ and other believers.
Rudd began her college career at a school closer to her family’s home on the East Coast. In two years there, she found her spiritual joy drying up due to a culture she describes as legalistic. Chapel, she says, became a box to check.
When circumstances brought her family back across the country to California, Rudd was able to transfer to TMU, the place that had been her dream school as a teenager. There she witnessed a total atmosphere change, one that took her from a focus on legalism and externals to grace and authenticity.
Early on, she was impacted by the example of students who demonstrated genuine love for learning, for attending Bible classes and chapel, and for having spiritual conversations outside of the classroom. She began to develop in her faith through relationships with dorm staff, roommates, and friends — people who “genuinely wanted to learn and grow in their relationship with Christ.”
“That was something new for me,” she says.
When student leadership applications rolled around that same semester, Rudd started the application process for a resident assistant (RA) position. But the parts of her life that still seemed broken filled her with doubts about whether she could really begin serving. She withdrew from her RA interview.
Two weeks later, her resident director (RD) reached out to her with a proposal: “Do you want to be a wing assistant?” For Rudd, it was unexpected. “I was honestly really shocked, and in that moment,” she says, “I saw the grace of Jesus.”
Looking back a year later, Rudd says serving on dorm staff has allowed her to reach out to many more girls, share her testimony, and connect to their struggles through her own experiences. Her walk with the Lord has flourished as she continues to be discipled by her RD. And she is full of joy.
“It’s been an amazing transformation,” she says. “God really worked.”
Rudd attributes the changes in her life to the transparency of TMU’s community. “I think TMU cares so much about genuine repentance. I remember at my old school, they wanted to point out all your wrongs, so everyone wanted to keep it a secret. Whereas here, you can open up and feel okay with confessing and working through it.”
Rudd’s goal after graduation is to continue serving others as a teacher in a Christian school. “I really want to be able to present the gospel openly and not have to hide it,” she says. She believes it’s more important than ever for teachers to have an impact on the next generation — one she’ll make by sharing the love of Christ.
For Rudd, her brief college years are only the beginning of a lifelong journey. “Always keep learning and keep growing,” she says, when reflecting on her takeaways from TMU. “There’s never a point where we can be satisfied with what we know about God.”
Learn more about how student leadership at TMU shapes biblical community here.
Josephine Lee is a junior double-majoring in communication and interdisciplinary studies.
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