Fostering a Community of Growth and Grace
For Jake and Roseanne Tomc, the opportunity to move to Heritage and begin their new role as Residence Directors is an answer to prayer.
After Jake officially graduated with his Master of Divinity from Heritage Theological Seminary this spring, they began praying about an opportunity to serve God’s people together and use their passion for higher education in a way that edified the church. With their experience serving together at Maple Avenue Baptist Church while Jake was an intern, and Roseanne’s experience working with students—it became clear that serving as Residence Directors fit both of their hearts for ministry.
“We feel that our love for higher education will rub off on the students and that we will be able to help them succeed in reaching their own goals, while also reminding them that academic success is not where our identity lies. Our identity is found in Christ and our desire to bring God glory in our lives,” says Jake. “We are both so looking forward to getting to know the students and pouring into their lives while they are on campus.”
From their own experience as students and staff at different universities, Jake and Roseanne understand that the years students spend in a postsecondary environment are some of the most formative in a student’s life. This is especially the case at Heritage, where the students are part of a community that is seeking to grow in the knowledge and love of Christ together.
The couple explains that this is seen most practically in living in residence, where lifelong relationships are developed, and the lessons learned in the classroom are put into action. To have the opportunity to foster this type of community focused on the spiritual growth of each student is one of the reasons this new position is exciting for the Tomcs.
“Our hope and prayer is that by God’s grace we can be a model of what it looks like for justified sinners to pursue godliness in community—showing humility where we fail, pointing to Christ where we get it right, and showing what it looks like to bear one another’s burdens,” says Jake.
When Roseanne looks ahead to this new opportunity, she says that she has been praying that the students this year will grow as they both seek biblical wisdom in their studies and develop deep relationships with one another—especially after a year where God has shown people how important community truly is.
“With the isolation we have all experienced, I am asking the Lord to give students the desire to take advantage of all Heritage has to offer and truly capitalize on their time living on campus,” says Roseanne.
The impact of learning and growing in a community is one of the elements of Jake’s time at Heritage that he treasured the most. He now looks back at his time at Heritage and sees how his experience learning from professors along with his fellow students gave him a deeper love for theological education.
It is this kind of experience that he hopes to share with the students on campus as he begins his Ph.D. studies this fall at McMaster Divinity College. He hopes that the opportunity to disciple Heritage students while continuing to learn alongside them will help foster the community and growth he still values from his time at Heritage.
“I want us to grow in the knowledge and love of our Lord together,” explains Jake. “I believe that as they pour themselves into their studies, and seek God’s glory in their work, their time at Heritage will serve to prepare them to be ambassadors for the Lord Jesus Christ in their fields of influence.”
Please pray for Jake and Roseanne as they begin their new role at Heritage this August. As well, pray for our new and returning students as they prepare for the start of the Fall Semester this September.