Choosing Wayland was a Great Investment
CLASS OF 2006
From the start, Eric Kaiser knew Wayland Baptist University was a perfect fit for his call to the ministry. Even when he had the opportunity to attend a state school his first year for free, the New Mexico native declined, knowing he wanted a full four years at Wayland. During these years, Eric participated in activities like Baptist Student Ministries and the student government while pursuing his religion degree. Through these experiences, Eric encountered individuals from around the globe and gained exposure to different viewpoints—he cherishes the lasting friendships he made.
“I lived in Brotherhood, and the whole seven semesters there was like a big family. When you were in your room, the door was open, and it was an invitation to come in,” he remembers fondly. “There are men I still talk to today. Somehow there is a forging that happens in the day-to-day grind of studying, the fear of failure and the triumph of success and the goofiness. The intangibles I never thought about experiencing at Wayland were the relationships you built and the people you encounter.”
Now the youth pastor of First Baptist Church in Plains, Texas, Eric recalls that many of these people were professors who mentored him and encouraged him to become the minister he is today.
“These men had served in churches throughout much of their lives and then came back and wanted to raise up the next generation; that was very appealing to me, and it was a no-brainer,” he says. “I don’t think I would have been prepared for ministry and everyday life without gleaning wisdom from men and women who had been serving in the church and knowing the kinds of things they wish they had known when they started in ministry.”
While at Wayland, Eric gained a solid biblical background and also built strong relationships with faculty members that went beyond a classroom lecture.
“Very quickly you get comfortable with your professors,” he notes. “You think that classrooms are these stuffy places, but I learned really quickly that they made that process of learning as personal and enjoyable as possible. Getting to laugh and joke with the professors before and after class – but especially during class – was so great.”
In the end, the lessons Eric learned and the relationships he built prepared him for a lifelong commitment to the ministry, which has led him to note that Wayland was “probably the best investment I’ve ever made in my life, because it’s going to help me from here on out.”