Getting to know: Minister follows family’s lead

Isaiah Vance is following in his dad’s footsteps in being a campus minister at Eastern New Mexico University.

Vance’s parents work in campus ministries in various places, and he said he saw how much they enjoyed it.

He was born in Louisville, Ky., and still has family there. The ENMU instructor of religion moved to Portales from Austin, Texas, in August 2007. He and his wife, Kim, have been married since 2005 and have a little girl, Haley, 2.

Vance has two bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Christian theological fields.

Before Vance came to ENMU, his dad knew he wanted a job in college ministry and teaching.

“He was looking through job listings and stuff,” Vance said. “I wasn’t doing a whole lot of searching because I had just received my master’s degree.”

His dad happened upon an online listing for the ENMU position and told Vance about the job. Vance applied, and the rest is history.

What do you do?

Basically here at the Church of Christ Student Center, I sort of oversee the ministry side of it. I work with the students with Bible studies and Bible discussions. I also teach courses for the university in the religion department. That usually entails me teaching three or four classes a semester, and basically most classes are on the Bible and a broader range of things.

What is your favorite Scripture to work with?

A few come to mind; lately, it has been a Scripture from the Gospel of John (John 13:34). Basically, “I have left you alone on Earth because you are my disciples,” when Jesus was talking to his disciples the night before he was betrayed. That is a Scripture I try to take and challenge myself and others with.

What do you do to put together a study or sermon?

It depends on what type of study it might be — I would approach it a little bit differently. If it is a Scripture study, I’ll use a Scripture for a basis of my study. I usually go through and read the passage in Greek and Hebrew in order to do some word study on it and try to figure out exactly what the writer is trying to get across, then look for some connections. For instance, I recently taught a class on Revelation this past semester. We looked at a lot of things and how it tied back into the Old Testament.

Do you teach out of the New International Version of the Bible?

That’s the one I’m most comfortable with. I try at times to use other translations, but I just keep coming back to NIV because it was the one I grew up with.

What is your favorite food?

My wife isn’t going to like this, but pizza. (My wife is half Korean so I like Korean food.) Hawaiian pizza with Canadian bacon and pineapple slices.