New student Taylor Haley, from Tullahoma, Tenn., is thankful for the influence of his pastor and Clear Creek alumnus who shared with him about Clear Creek.
“I had made a profession of faith when I was a young child,” said Haley. “But it wasn’t until years later at a youth event I attended with my church youth group that I realized I was in desperate need of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. After that everything changed. After that I was free to live for Christ. It’s been a bumpy road for sure. There’s been struggles, doubts, insecurities and other things. But God placed amazing mentors in my life that I know helped shape me into the man I am today.
“I surrendered to ministry on a Sunday morning when my pastor began preaching through the book of Mark and the calling of the first disciples,” said Haley. “They were fishermen. It wasn’t just their job. It was who they were, their lifestyle, what they identified as. And they abandoned it to follow after Jesus. At the time, I was working on my associate’s (degree) in criminal justice. Many people had asked if I was going to go into ministry. I always thought I couldn’t because of my degree. But I realized that my clinging to a degree was just like how the disciples identified as fishermen; and it was hindering me from what God was really calling me to do.”
“My pastor, Matt Collins, happened to be a Clear Creek graduate,” said Haley. “The first thing he told me was about Clear Creek. At first I planned on doing online courses because we had launched the youth ministry and would never have thought of leaving our students. But Matt greatly encouraged us to make a visit to the campus because he assured us that nothing can replace the face to face teaching that the professors had to offer. Once we visited, hung out with students and faculty, and saw the beautiful creek, we knew this was where we needed to be.
“The classes at Clear Creek are amazing,” said Haley. “All of the professors here are genuinely committed to seeing the students succeed. Clear Creek is a great place and it is very affordable. You won’t get a better educational experience anywhere else.”