William Locke ’20 was drawn to Asbury University for a few reasons. First, he’s a third generation Asburian, with his dad (Parker Locke ’75) and grandparents attending before him. And second, Asbury’s Youth Ministry major seemed to be the right fit for Locke, who is currently spending his vacation doing Summer Ministry Team (SMT).
Service has been a central part of Locke’s Asbury education. In addition to participating in SMT, Locke has enjoyed representing Student Ministry Club in the Asbury Student Congress and on the Spiritual Life Board.
Each week, SMT travels to a number of camps throughout the eastern United States to minister to youth over the course of nine weeks during summer break. Prior to leaving for the nine-week service trip, SMT team members undergo intensive leadership training in the spring semester and, upon returning to campus, monthly debriefings in the fall semester.
“As a Youth Ministry major, SMT provided me opportunities that even internships wouldn’t because I’m going from different camps each week and seeing how different leadership styles work at camps and other things like that,” Locke said.
Drawing from his youth ministry classes, Locke has learned how to use his Asbury education to not only engage academically but holistically, especially in Dr. Clair Budd’s classes.
“I’ve loved all of the classes I’ve taken with him from Instructional Bible Study to Teaching in the Church to Foundations of Educational Ministry,” Locke said.
A member of Johnson’s Fourth East Hall, Locke finds joy and community in the “family” environment created through residence life on campus.
“My favorite Asbury memory? That’s tough,” Locke said. “I would have to say late-night conversations with my RA about life last semester. That happened a lot. His willingness to sit with me and listen to what I was going through, encourage me and just validate how I was feeling about some situations, that’s going to be one of those things that I look back on and cherish for the rest of my life.”
The service opportunities he’s been given at Asbury have sparked an immense amount of spiritual growth and the realization of deep faith lessons for Locke.
“God calls us to love people and sometimes love is not necessarily shared through words but through actions. So, I think Jesus was a great model of that,” Locke said.