A Letter from Tracey Knight
Administrative Assistant, 2000-2017
My 17 years in the Pruet School of Christian Studies began with a casual conversation at church one Wednesday night – which shows that you never know what God might do through one encounter. That simple conversation changed the course of my life.
From day one working in the Pruet Dean’s office, both of my deans – Duvall then Hays – treated me like an important part of the team in Pruet. I am so grateful that God allowed me to invest my life with some of the best and Godliest people on earth. From a personal standpoint, the faculty became friends and like family to mine. They watched my children grow up and nurtured them along the way. Pruet is truly a family within the Ouachita family.
The icing on the Pruet cake, though, was the students I got to know and love while they were here. At Ouachita we consider is the greatest privilege to be able to walk alongside students as they grow and prepare for fruitful lives. But what I found is that MY life was deeply enriched by knowing all those students. Discussions with them about what they were learning in class helped my spiritual growth. Especially with my student workers, I made sweet friends that challenged me spiritually.
By nature of the college experience, we all go our separate ways, but it is such a joy when we can reconnect – whether that’s on their visits back to campus or Facebook or a quick text when something reminds us of each other. It’s a joy to see how God has continued to walk with them through their lives in ministry, and as singles, spouses and parents. I’m always so proud of the people they’ve become.
While at Pruet, many days I remember thinking, “How did I get to do this? Why has God allowed me the blessing of this job?” The answer to that surely didn’t include anything I’d been or done. It has been one of God’s many graces to me.
It will always be my blessing, honor and privilege to be part of the family in the Pruet School of Christian Studies.
“I definitely think it’s brought me closer to God. I think being with Christian brothers and sisters daily has impacted me in a positive way and just made me want to learn more about the Bible and about everything. The students that I’ve formed relationships with, they’ll be lifelong friends. I feel like I’ve joined a family here and I just feel honored to come to work every day.”
Community and Family Services Advisor, Title IX Coordinator
“With the program that I’m supervising, Community and Family Services, new students that come in and they want to help people, they feel called to help people, many of them, and they’re not really sure what that looks like. A lot of them, maybe, have not looked at counseling or human services or social work as a “ministry” and I’ve really enjoyed having the freedom to focus on integrating and using faith as such a strong foundation to train up students to go and do great work that may not be a “big M” ministry. They might not be working for a church in a ministry role, but is certainly a calling and certainly a ministry. I think it’s validating because I believe so strongly that my faith is such a big piece of the work that I’ve done. I think that I’ve seen healing happen in ways that then allows spiritual healing and redemption even though all of my professional work has not been in faith-based organizations.”
Dr. Jeremy Greer
Dean, Assistant Professor
“I really appreciate the supportive environment, very collegial, everyone is concerned about the benefit of students, no one is here I think to only advance their career or get opportunities but everyone is concerned with giving students the best that we can offer. It’s been great to be a part of that. We’re very supportive of one another in all sorts of ways: people volunteering to pick up committee assignments or to do work or to share materials that have been good so, a real team all with the common goal of helping the students. It’s been awesome.”
“It’s the students that impact me the most because they’re fun, and they teach me so much every semester. I feel like the job is a blessing because it’s not just me giving all of the time. I feel like a lot of times I gain a lot from classes, lots of insight and perspective. That comes through classroom experience but also advising and working with students at that level and directed study and theses and stuff like that. Also, it’s just a healthy work environment. It’s fun, we’re able to joke around with other faculty and staff here. It’s not a boring place to work, but we’re also serious about what needs to be taken seriously and we get stuff done.”
Dr. Matt Douglass
Assistant Professor & Assistant to the Vice President of Academic Affairs
“It’s a very supportive group. Everybody is trying to work together primarily for the students. That’s really impressive that everybody, their first priority is ‘how can we do the best things for the students and make sure that the sort of degrees that we’re offering can actually be useful in the future?’ Obviously with a mind toward building the kingdom of God. That’s been really gratifying and then, me personally, probably Christa also, we’ve felt very welcomed. Our ideas are taken seriously. It’s been a very collaborative and rewarding experience in that way. For the other part of my job, since I do a lot of the administrative stuff, it’s been mutually helpful to see what the faculty are thinking so I can relay that back here but then also certain questions come up in our faculty meetings where I actually know what’s going on so I can sort of help them. It’s been mutually beneficial to have a back and forth with administration and faculty at the same time.“