WHAT STUDENTS SAY
Luke Bowman is a coffee loving man who was born and raised on the plains of Jamestown, North Dakota. Growing up as a pastor’s kid, Bowman was deeply rooted in the scriptures from a young age. He has been confident in his relationship with Jesus since he can remember.
Luke had known about Hillcrest his whole life. He never expected coming here to become a reality. That changed at the end of his sophomore year. Cracks of light began to appear.
At an Inspiration Point family camp Luke saw a presentation given about Hillcrest and he began to consider attending. The tipping point of his decision was another presentation given at YC15. He sensed God was tugging on his heart. “All these things softened me up to His will.”
“I came here not really knowing what to expect.” If anything has exceeded Luke’s expectations, it has been his teachers. Luke is most grateful for the teachers’ willingness to speak the truth. Coming from a public school, Luke had become used to teachers not being allowed to speak about religious beliefs. They weren’t allowed to speak about total truth. “Here, teachers speak what they believe and they are sincere.”
The biggest lesson Luke will take away from his time at Hillcrest is this. “When you create a culture of free thought, you restrict people. But when you create a culture of freedom you empower people.”
Hillcrest and Virtue
There are characteristics that our culture exalts. Kindness, charity, and respect are some easy ones that come to mind. These characteristics come from underlying beliefs and values that undergird our culture. At Hillcrest these values are identified wholly in the imprint of God that each human bears. In being made in God’s image all of us hold certain characteristics that reflect God. In strengthening character Hillcrest doesn’t forge new identities for students, but helps them hone and identify the God characteristics that they are all endowed with. Classes, dormitory life, and extra curricular activities all forge strong environments to hone virtuous characteristics for students. In resting everything on a Biblically-based foundation Hillcrest identifies, encourages, and shapes students to represent their Creator.
Habits drive actions. At Hillcrest we work to form and build good habits for students. More than simply good actions, at Hillcrest these habits are often referred to as muscles. We desire our students to hold muscles for academic engagement, spiritual exercise, and cultural participation. We see that there is an expectation that the life of a Christian will bear fruit. This fruit comes from knowing and abiding in Christ. At Hillcrest our program is centered around building muscles for students to abide in Christ. Attending Hillcrest can be a shock to the system for some students, where secular schools haven’t enabled them to talk about their faith. At Hillcrest, students talk about faith in nearly every class, building muscles of exercising a Biblically-based character.