photo by Sam Mahtani

by Mark Pomerville

Dean Whitcher ’19 longed for a learning community with like-minded believers. Having grown up in a Christian homeschool community, Whitcher wanted to pursue a higher education that would help him think critically and seek a deeper relationship with the Lord. “I desired a place where I could be challenged in my classes, as well as grow in my knowledge of my Savior, “says Whitcher. “So many young people my age leave their home, attend secular universities, and fall away from their walk with Christ. I needed a college that would broaden my mind and blossom my faith.”

While Whitcher was in middle school, he and his parents learned about Providence Christian College through a local homeschool convention and were impressed with its devotion to faith-guided learning. In Fall 2015, Whitcher enrolled as a freshman and immediately integrated himself into the student life at Providence. From singing in the choir to helping lead worship in chapel and running on the men’s cross-country team, Whitcher quickly found that Providence was a place where he could expand his knowledge of God, the world, and himself in any area of study. “Whether reading Socratic philosophy, composing music for student films, or exploring central California with my science class, my educational experience here has presented me with a deeper understanding of all aspects of culture in ways I couldn’t even have imagined,” says Whitcher. “It has been truly eye-opening for me to listen and learn from professors and peers who have come from different backgrounds and experiences, yet share the same faith and worship the same living and true God.”

As he prepares for his senior year, Whitcher reflects on how Providence has fulfilled the longing he had not only for a living, learning community, but also a place where the foundation of his faith is strengthened by his brothers and sisters in Christ. “In coming to Providence, my faith has come alive through the incredible friendships and relationships I’ve made, as well as the amazing opportunities to serve in this beautiful community,” says Whitcher. “Over the past two years, I’ve discovered that my educational journey at Providence has not just been an individual endeavor but a communal one; a body of Christ where we are to run the race of faith and pursue education together.”