Jonathan Holland

When Jonathan attended a TCU football game in the fall of 2015, he didn’t know that it would change his life.

Jonathan, a Virginia native, was 16 years old when a teacher told him he was going to be a pastor. It was the first time he considered doing something in ministry and the first time he heard the Lord really speak to him. So after high school, Jonathan moved to Texas to attend Southwestern Assembly of God University (SAGU) and pursue that call. Moving to Texas and starting Bible college was a bit of a culture shock, and after a year that culminated in a bout of depression and a good deal of school debt, he knew he wasn’t supposed to go back to SAGU. “I prayed about it and felt God tell me to stay in Texas and work,” Jonathan says. So he served at his home church, High Ridge Church in Benbrook, Texas, and worked several jobs to pay off debt. He was working as a full-time valet the day he went to the TCU football game.

At the game, Jonathan met a gentleman, the CEO of a prestigious bank in the area, and they started talking about life. The man asked Jonathan if he was going to college, and Jonathan replied that he was not. After explaining that school debt was not worth it and he could just as well work his way up, the man looked at him and said, “Well, that’s a stupid reason. You need to get off the sidelines.” Just as Jonathan was about to reply with a sarcastic, “Ok, dad,” the man said, “And I want to help you do that. I want to pay for your schooling.” Just like that, everything changed. Jonathan stood in disbelief as the man told him he could attend any school in the country as long as he went back.

Still shocked, Jonathan researched several school options in the area that would allow him to pursue his call to be a pastor and continue serving at his home church. He applied to one and was ready to start when he had a conversation with his mentor who is a pastor at his church. “Truthfully, The King’s University wasn’t even on my radar,” Jonathan said. “But when I spoke to my mentor, he felt strongly that I should attend TKU.” It was another big surprise for Jonathan, but he took it in stride, trusting his mentor and the God of divine encounters. He declined his admission to the other university and applied to The King’s University instead, and a few weeks later he walked through its doors.

Although he was hesitant about the fact that the Southlake location was newer and less established, now Jonathan knows why the Lord spoke through two different men to get him here.

“It has far exceeded anything I thought I would experience,” Jonathan says. “And I know I wouldn’t be learning the things I am now if I had attended any other university.”

Whether he’s seeing the content of the courses intertwine, or spotting students praying for one another in the halls, or hearing the professors relate studying to worship, Jonathan feels like what he’s learning is unique to The King’s University. He now looks at every assignment or paper as more than just the means to a diploma.

“Everything has become about worship to God,” he says.

Not only have the professors been influential to his time here so far but the other students and even the custodial staff have made their mark on him as well. “Even if you wanted to, you can’t sit alone at the café on campus,” Jonathan says with a laugh. “People will come up to talk to you and try get to know you.” And one particular custodian, Anne, serves so happily, wholeheartedly, and selflessly that every time Jonathan sees her, he’s in awe of her eternal perspective.

“Being here has changed my mind entirely about how I view life and school,” he says, “The King’s University is the perfect soil in which to grow into everything God wants you to be.”

And what started off as a friendly chat with a stranger at a football game became a delightfully crazy doorway to the training ground for God’s call.