Photo by Sam Mahtani

by Mark Pomerville

As a teenager, Iris Blanche ’20 had a passive approach to education. Originally from Chino Hills, California, she was determined to pass her high school classes and graduate without truly understanding the material she was studying. “Before coming to Providence, the only thing that mattered, relating to academics, was the end result, not the learning process,” says Blanche. “I just wanted to get good grades without truly examining all facets of the subjects I was exploring.”

In March 2016, Blanche attended a campus visit day at Providence Christian College, and she quickly realized that it stood apart from the other learning institutions she had seen. “I knew I wanted to study Biblical theology after high school,” says Blanche. “So, I began looking at Christian colleges. None of them stood out as much as Providence. There was something about the humbleness of the campus and the faculty’s passion for scripture and deeper learning that made this place give off a rich, educational environment.”

In August 2016, Blanche enrolled as a freshman at Providence. While she has been positively influenced by the instruction she has received from her professors, it was Dr. Scott Swanson, professor of biblical and theological studies, who made a statement that truly impacted Blanche’ life. “Dr. Swanson once said, ‘It doesn’t matter about the strength of your faith, but the strength of the object in which you put your faith.’ When he said this, it changed me, forever,” recalls Blanche. “Before attending Providence, I thought that the Bible was just a collection of historical stories. But now, I understand that God reveals Himself in His word, as well as all facets of His creation. Through deepening my understanding of all subjects, I’ve discovered that the true object of my faith is Him.”

Blanche anticipates graduating in May 2020 and hopes to pursue a  career in public relations or church ministry. While she is uncertain of her specific vocation, she is confident that Providence has prepared her both academically and spiritually for whatever the Lord has in store for her. “I have yet to know what God’s calling for me is,” says Blanche. “But Providence has revealed to me, as of this moment, that my calling is to be a student. I have full confidence and trust in God that, when my senior year comes, He will lead me to a career choice where I will ultimately bring glory to Him.”