“If I had to do life all over again, I would come to college at Master’s.”
Growing up 2,500 miles from Santa Clarita, Calif., 18-year-old Kimberly Wilson had never heard of The Master’s University.
She was going to study exercise & sport science at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduate, and become a professional sports team administrator.
“I get tunnel-visioned. I tell myself, ‘I’m going to make it work.’”
The Lord had different plans.
More than a decade later, Wilson is serving in an opportunity far from what she originally imagined. Reflecting back, she sees how God’s sovereignty and graciousness in every trial ultimately prepared her for full-time ministry work.
Wilson grew up in a family that attended church and believed the Bible but didn’t understand what it meant to surrender to the Lordship of Christ, until she came to know the Lord at 13.
As she completed her college degree, her health took an unexpected turn. She had two major surgeries to help manage Ulcerative Colitis. This was only the beginning of a series of medical issues Wilson would undergo.
In 2005, she graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with her degree in exercise and sport science.
Unlike most college graduates, she spent her first post-graduate year in and out of a hospital room. To exacerbate the situation, her dream interview with an NHL hockey team fell through.
Wilson’s passion to share the gospel ultimately trumped her desire for a career in sports. She now found herself yearning for full-time ministry work.
God’s purpose in permitting these trials was revealed in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. Working in church ministries for several years allowed her “to comfort those in any trouble with the comfort [she] received from God.”
This period also served to show Wilson the void of biblical counseling in her local church.
“I had served as a youth leader in the church and had done mentoring and discipleship, but the counseling aspect was something I had never seen,” she said. “But I just knew through my own suffering that I wanted to be able to encourage and offer hope to those who were going through similar things.”
This sparked her desire to learn how to better counsel others. In 2007, Wilson moved from North Carolina to Virginia to earn her Master in Professional Counseling degree at an evangelical Christian university. A few days into her studies, she noticed the program’s integrationist approach — a combination of psychology and theology. The theories, perspectives and diagnosis contradicted Scripture.
However, she was unaware of any biblical counseling programs grounded in God’s Word.
After her first semester, Wilson moved back to North Carolina and finished her studies online.
Shortly after completing her degree, Wilson got the ministry job she had been looking for; she worked at a mission’s center in New Orleans teaching afterschool programs for elementary and high school kids.
When the school year ended, Wilson moved back home. As she applied to other jobs, her health worsened. She was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia.
“It was tough. I could see the Lord’s purpose through my first illness and it changed my whole desire in life. It changed my course towards ministry, but now, 5 years later, I had a continued desire to do so.”
“Why has the Lord allowed this interruption in serving Him?” Wilson asked herself.
She moved back home to North Carolina where she held several jobs over 4 years, while she managed her leukemia. She worked as a kindergarten teacher and started her own nonprofit community ministry, One in Christ Jesus, all while immersing herself in Scripture and studying biblical counseling on her own.
During this time she discovered ACBC and met her best friend, Kristen.
Kristen introduced her to John MacArthur’s ministry. “This was the theological teaching and training I desired but never knew existed,” Wilson said.
In April 2016, she visited Los Angeles for the first time. She remembers asking herself, “what are the chances of getting a job here?”
There were no full-time ministry jobs in LA at the time, so she took a position as a high school Bible teacher in Haiti.
Her medical complications made it difficult to live oversees. In June of this year, after a year and a half in Haiti, she moved back to North Carolina.
Wilson wanted her next move to be long term.
To further equip herself for ministry, she enrolled in TMU’s Master in Biblical Studies online program.
During this time, Dave Hulet, the Dean of Men at TMU, began searching for a new Dean of Women. The student body needed a female leader with “godliness, grit and grace,” as he described it. “It was obvious that she was looking for something like we were needing. So it seemed a little too good to be true,” Hulet said.
Less than four weeks later, Wilson settled into her new home, eager to start the job she desired, but never knew existed.
She’s excited to pour into the lives of the young women at TMU. “I want to provide that voice that I didn’t have when I was their age,” Wilson said.
TMU Campus Pastor, Harry Walls, explained her role. “The Dean of Women is the representative student life leader on our campus to give investment and direction to the development of our young women. Her focus is giving leadership to RDs, RAs and then a shepherding influence over our female population here.”
Walls also echoed Wilson’s excitement. “I’m very happy she’s here. She’s committed to Scripture. She’s committed to investing in young people. To see to it that they not only know Christ but are equipped to live for Christ … she’s passionate about that.”
During the interview week, Wilson met John MacArthur and watched a Dodgers game, to which Walls remembers her saying, “this might be the best day of my life.”
Wilson is a bona fide athlete who loves sports. As a Dodgers fan prior to her move to LA, she’s already fitting in well.
“God in his loving providence has gotten me on the path He wants me to be on, but … it took a lot of crazy circumstances … and some of that was because I didn’t have that counsel or that direction, so I really want to be able to give that and instill that in the students at The Master’s University.”
“I wanted to work at a school that was really doctrinally sound and those are really hard to come by,” Wilson said. She says she’s humbled and blessed to be at TMU.