Putting Faith First
Professor Randy Beck helps guide students through Scripture and life.
Yasmine Antoine sits in a green auditorium-style chair with a pull-over desk, surrounded by about a dozen other students from the University of Georgia. Randy Beck, a law professor at UGA since 1997, stands behind a wooden lectern at the front of the room.
Though seated in a classroom, they are not here for class. Professor Beck is teaching on themes found in early chapters of Genesis, linking them to Jesus’ story in the New Testament.
A graduate student in UGA’s School of Law, Yasmine has attended Professor Beck’s Bible study since the fall of 2011. “One of the major issues law students have is time, because there’s always so much to do,” Yasmine says. “I felt like when I was coming to Bible study, I should be working on something.”
Yasmine is one of many law students who have experienced tension between her faith and her career and has benefited from Professor Beck’s ministry on campus. Many lawyers wrestle to mesh their relationship with God and the expectations that come with a legal profession. The two can easily be in conflict.
Professor Beck is part of a community of professors at UGA who are involved in Faculty Commons, Cru’s ministry to faculty members on college campuses. With a network of over 9,000 professors on over 1,100 universities, Faculty Commons wants every student to have the opportunity to know professors who follow Christ.
Through a conversation with Professor Beck, Yasmine was reminded how important it is to emphasize the value of her relationship with God. She is part of the study again this year as Professor Beck guides students through Old Testament books from the Babylonian captivity, a natural starting place for law students.
Professor Beck’s relationship with God grew during his college years, due in part to mentors who invested time in him while he was a student. “My sense of calling includes the belief that God has me here on campus in part to play a similar mentoring role for students who are thinking about the Christian faith,” he says.
Yasmine understands that the Christian faith does not end with her. The law student now helps encourage other law students to keep their faith a priority through leading small prayer meetings on campus.
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