Jerome Bradley, a senior at Leavell College, exemplifies the post-traditional student for whom Leavell College was begun. Retired from the military and the federal government after thirty-three years of service, Bradley felt called to ministry while teaching a men’s Sunday School class at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, the church where he serves as a lay leader.
Bradley learned about Leavell College after attending a training session at Franklin Avenue led by a professor from NOBTS. Feeling led to be a chaplain, he realized he needed to attend Leavell College to complete his bachelor’s degree. “I wasn’t sure if I could come back to college at my age,” admitted Bradley, but because of the compassion of the Leavell College faculty, “the Lord was showing me that I could do this.”
Bradley considers himself “a witness to the fact that Leavell College prepares students for ministry.” His coursework has enabled him to be a better Sunday School teacher and a better minister to people he meets in his current job and in his volunteer role as a counselor at the Bridge City Youth Detention Center. “I come into contact with all sorts of people who don’t know Christ, and now I understand how to have that gospel conversation.”
Perhaps the most important aspect of his time at Leavell College is the encouragement he has received to stay focused on all aspects of his spiritual life. According to Bradley, “You all [Leavell College faculty] are preparing me in so many ways, even non-academic ways. I see where you all stay the course even amidst your ups and downs. Students see this, and I am encouraged to stay on path, even though I don’t know where I will end up serving as a chaplain.”
Compiled by Sandy Vandercook