The Master’s College can seem like a secluded paradise in the midst of a land of chaos and confusion. Students and faculty sometimes jokingly refer to the TMC campus as a “bubble.” Although living in Placerita Canyon can be a hindrance in terms of gaining recognition, residents in the community and around the world have heard of the college. The most significant way for people to witness the difference between The Master’s College and other universities is through the enrolled students at TMC who interact with the community on a daily basis. Sometimes students feel isolated and chained to the campus. As a change of pace, many students trek out into the city. Whether in Santa Clarita, Hollywood or downtown Los Angeles, students immerse themselves in the outside culture. Over the years, people have taken notice of The Master’s College. It’s the goal and prayer of the faculty and staff at the school for students to shine God’s light in a dark world.
Dr. Mark Tatlock, Senior Vice President and Provost at TMC says, “My passion is that they will see us reflect as a community the character and nature of God in such a way that they are drawn to seek him and to know him. However, our challenge is how we’re isolated in this canyon and so how is the world ever going to see who we are? It means we’ve got to get off this campus and go into the world. We’ve got to go into the community.” At Master’s, the leadership emphasizes the importance of spreading the Word of God. During Outreach Week, the school dedicates five days in the fall semester to send students to partner with churches. Students participate in evangelism and outreach events during the week. The college also encourages students to join a spring break or summer missions trip. These trips have taken students all around the world. “The gospel is central to everything that we do,” Tatlock says.
An understanding of the Word of God is vital to the believer, but Christians’ knowledge of the Bible is not the end. God commands Christians to spread the good news to the nations. “It’s about equipping you to leverage or ad advance the truth in a context where the truth is not known,” Tatlock says. “So it’s really not about you ultimately. It’s about those that God will reach one day through your lives.”
Christians, even after the moment of conversion, still have work to do on Earth. “The only thing we can’t do better in heaven than here on earth is advance the gospel,” Tatlock says. “We’re going to worship better in heaven, we’re going to be more obedient in heaven, we’re going to be more holy in Heaven. Everything else is going to be better. Then why aren’t we there? We’re not there for one reason and that is to bring more people to the knowledge of Christ.”
Some students can’t afford to go on overseas missions trips, but every student can reach out to the local community during their time at the school. Outreaches such as the Skid Row Ministry gather regularly to minster to homeless and underprivileged people in the slums of Los Angeles. The Master’s College is only miles from the heart of Los Angeles, a center of cultural diversity in the country. Although at times it’s difficult to get off campus, students can make an effort to spend time in the surrounding cities. They can get involved with reaching out to the community through jobs, internships, outreach programs, volunteer service, and church events. Even occasional trips to movie theaters, restaurants, or Starbucks can result in a ministry opportunity.
“The thing that shines is the heart and character of our students and not that it is always perfect, but the overarching testimony is that we have young adults who are passionate about Christ and they have integrity in their walk,” Tatlock says. Dr. John MacArthur, Tatlock, and other faculty wish to use the ministry of the students in local urban communities as a means of bringing the unreached to the college campus. “I would love for our chapel and Truth & Life Conference to be a place where inner-city kids can come and be welcome,” Tatlock says.
Students rarely hear the outside world’s thoughts about the college, but administrators like Tatlock receive many encouraging comments from local residents about students’ participation in the community. “I’m confident that our students represent Christ in the community,” he says. “I can just tell you that the reputation of students hands down is really good.”
To read other articles from A Student’s Perspective download “The Master’s Piece” To read other articles from A Student’s Perspective download “The Master’s Piece” April 2010 issue.