Delving deeper into the Word
"The quality of an SBU education is beyond words."
Those are the words of Stephanie (Smith) Peek, a 2008 SBU graduate with a B.S. in Biblical Studies and Psychology who received a master's degree at George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Waco, Texas, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies: New Testament at Baylor University.
"SBU more than prepared me for my master's program," Stephanie said. "Due to the excellent quality of education I received at SBU, I was able to skip an entire year of introductory matter and begin upper level classes right away. This allowed me to pursue a great deal of independent research during my final year of Seminary, and this, in turn, is the reason I was able to pursue a Ph.D."
Stephanie was challenged to excel academically at SBU, especially to go beyond just what was required.
"I was urged to read everything I could get my hands on. I was encouraged to read and dialogue with top researchers in my field," she said. "Since I am still in school, developing the love of reading and writing from my professors was essential. They taught me how to research effectively and how to ask questions, even the hard questions. Five years later, I am still in school and still asking questions. SBU taught me to think in new, different, and creative ways about my areas of study.
When it came time to start looking at graduate schools, Stephanie's professors had connections that helped.
"When I told them I wanted to attend a seminary in Waco, Texas, my professors knew people there," she said. "They made contacts and cultivated relationships on my behalf. To this day, I am still in contact with a number of professors and staff who impacted my life during my time at SBU."
Participating in two mission trips while at SBU challenged Stephanie to think about her Christian faith in new and different ways.
"They reinforced the belief that our faith is not to be a private affair. It should impact the way we interact with people, the decisions we make, and how we chose to spend our time," she said. "The mission teams opened the door to a new and different look at community and faith."
"The college years are some of the most formative years of your adult life," Stephanie added. "SBU makes them transformative years as well."