Academic Program Advisor

Christian Fletcher
MAR '00, Concentration in Religion and the Arts
AB '97 in Religion, Certificate in Film & Video, from Duke
Academic Program Advisor
Texas Tech University at Highland Lakes

Upon graduation from YDS in 2000, I returned with my wife and son to our native Texas. I taught literature, film, kindergarten Spanish and a few other subjects at a small private school in Austin for two years before moving back to my hometown of Marble Falls in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. Our move conveniently coincided with the opening of a new branch campus of Texas Tech University in the Hill Country, where I was hired as one of the school's maiden employees to advise students. Since that time, my job has evolved into a position that encompasses many aspects of enrollment management, student services, financial aid, course development, and other areas, so my training as a generalist at YDS has come in quite handy.

I have known for quite some time that academia would be my ministerial calling, and working at the grassroots level here at Texas Tech has been a perfect match for me. I have learned infinitely more about higher education here than I could have learned as part of a singular department at a large university's main campus, and I often wonder if my learning curve will ever flatten out. I am blessed to be in such an intellectually rigorous environment.

Even more important, however, is that I am part of an important mission, one that is strengthened and supported by results every day. Texas Tech opened a campus here in the Hill Country because this area was previously the largest area in Texas--and one of the largest areas in the country--unserved by a four-year institution. What we have been able to do is bring education to those people who otherwise wouldn't be candidates for bachelors' degrees, teacher certification, masters' degrees, or doctoral programs. The spectrum of personalities and backgrounds is as broad here as anywhere I have been, and to have the opportunity to interact with these people on a daily basis--and to have some oversight in the governance of the school at the same time--has been immensely rewarding for me.