College is time of spiritual,
by Andrew Shurtleff
By Charlotte Crystal
isnt just about job training.
is one of the most significant times in a persons life for
spiritual growth, said Brian Edmonds, who is graduating
in May with a bachelors degree in systems engineering.
a time to search out your spirituality, he said. People
must define what religion will be for them. They may realize their
need for God or question their need for God.
summer, as part of his own search, Edmonds took a six-week trip
to Nigeria sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ, a 50-year-old
non-denominational Christian outreach effort. Edmonds visited
the campuses of the University of Jos and the Federal College
of Education Pankshin, a community college in central Nigeria.
went to meet students where they were and find out if they had
a relationship with Jesus Christ, he said. Many students
there didnt know that many African Americans are Christians
because most American missionaries are white. But talking to students
our own age
allowed them to see Christianity in a different
light. Its not just about a preacher in a pulpit, but its
a daily walk that requires humility and growth and love.
up, Edmonds attended the Central Baptist Church on Baltimores
west side. He sang in the church choir, participated in the annual
Christmas and Easter programs, and, with his youth group, visited
parents were both raised in strong families that put an emphasis
on their Christian faith, and they passed that on to their children,
also passed on a respect for education. Edmonds father,
Joseph, is an electrical engineer working for Baltimore Gas &
Electric, and his mother, Gail, is an administrator at Goucher
College. His sister, a U.Va. alumna, is now a lawyer and his brother
is in seminary school.
graduating from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, a math and science
magnet school, Edmonds signed on with the systems program at U.Va.s
engineering school, which allowed him the flexibility to take
classes in religion and philosophy.
made friends through the First-Year Fellowship, a non-denominational
Christian group, and Black Voices.
summer, he plans a missionary trip to Capetown, South Africa.
that, hell return to Charlottesville for a one-year internship
as a staff member for Impact, a chapter of Campus Crusade for
Christ that is reaching out to African-American students. He then
would like to work for a management consulting firm before moving
into the non-profit sector.
would find it hard to work 15 hours a day to boost the bottom
line of a big corporation, Edmonds said. But to work
17 hours a day so somebody could have a roof over his head or
have enough to eat, I could find the strength to do that.