— By Hannah Dorss —
Brian Chu left John Paul the Great Catholic University with much more than just an MA in Biblical Theology. In fact, he says his time here deepened his relationship with God and helped him discover how to connect theology and prayer.
His journey began while studying history at UCSD, when Brian became fascinated with church history and how it differed from secular history. However, he says his history and religion courses at UCSD were incredibly secularized. Brian said in an attempt to study religion objectively, the professors avoided discussions about faith, separating faith from religious studies and truth from scripture.
After this, Brian wanted to continue his studies in an environment where he would not only be academically challenged, but where he could also strengthen his Catholic faith. He soon found the theology program at JPCatholic to be a perfect match. Brian emphasized that although the university is new, it already has a solid theology faculty, including Dr. Barber and Dr. Kincaid who passed on their knowledge and love of Scripture to him.
Brian says the most valuable thing about the program is the integration between Scripture, theology, and faith. For example, he said his Fundamental Theology class significantly changed his prayer life when Dr. Christine Wood taught that the best way to do theology is on your knees in prayer. He says through this he discovered that theology is supposed to be an encounter with a Divine Person. Brian says he also gained new insights while studying Scripture. In one instance he described studying St. Paul’s explanation of how the Eucharist should be received and effect the way we live. Brian said, “It just really hit me that participation in the liturgy is how we live in God. And participation in the liturgy affects the way that I live, so theology, participation, ethics—they’re all together.”
Brian is continuing his studies at Duke University, where he is currently pursuing another Master’s degree in theology, with a focus on Old Testament Studies. His goal is to earn a PhD and become a professor.
As his journey in faith and knowledge continues, Brian says he is inspired by the words from Scripture that instruct us all to “attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13).