BROWNWOOD – May 30, 2018 – Kaitlyn Bush has long had a connection to Howard Payne University. The HPU senior, majoring in practical theology and minoring in music, said living just a few miles outside of Brownwood meant the university was a familiar feature throughout her early years.
She says her youth pastors, HPU alumni Dustin Wright ’12 and Seth Pitman ’11, MATM ’15, brought their students to the Baptist General Convention of Texas’s discipleship camp Super Summer at HPU. These trips were some of her early experiences at the university.
“While at Super Summer, I got to meet members of the Christian studies department who were helping,” she said. “It seemed like a really encouraging atmosphere.”
This encouraging atmosphere and the closeness of the HPU community, found in the relationships of faculty, staff and students, is a key part of what makes the university special in Bush’s eyes.
“I feel like everyone cares about everyone,” she said. “Where else are you going to see that?”
She has found the School of Christian Studies to be full of great people with meaningful experiences. The faculty’s familiarity with a variety of ministries imparts a unique value to the education that they offer their students.
“What our Christian studies faculty are teaching us is important on its own, but also a lot of it comes from their personal experiences,” she said. “What they have experienced is not going to be very different from what we are going through or will go through as ministers, so their knowledge is very helpful.”
When she first came to HPU, Bush knew God was leading her to pursue a life serving in music ministry.
“I came to HPU to become equipped for music ministry and decided I wanted to focus on the ministry aspect of this and study toward a major in the Christian Studies department,” she said. “However, because music is a part of my calling and also a passion of mine, I chose to minor in music.”
Bush is active in the HPU music department in addition to pursuing a life of ministry. In the fall, she plays the mellophone and marching horn while also serving as a drum major. During the spring concert season, she plays in HPU’s Symphonic Band.
Music has played a significant role in her life. While in high school, Bush said she benefited from her participation in her high school’s band. In addition to spurring personal growth, music brings her enjoyment even when practicing.
“In music, there are compositions from great composers who express feeling through music,” said Bush. “Knowing this and getting to play that expression is meaningful, especially when the expression aligns with your life and experience.”
Thanks to the faculty of HPU’s music department, she has been able to follow God’s leading in an atmosphere conducive to learning about a subject she loves.
“The professors in the music department are so talented and knowledgeable,” said Bush. “They care about our lives, not just about what we are playing, but what is going on in our personal lives.”
As she nears the final year of her time at HPU, Bush reflected on what the university has meant to her life.
“Hopefully when you leave these walls you are a reflection of what you are learning and a reflection of the God you serve,” she said. “The person I was when first arriving on campus two years ago is different than the person I am now. I am definitely shaping and forming as a person and it’s because of the people pouring into my life.”
Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cutline: Kaitlyn Bush has chosen to follow the passions God has given her, pursuing a life in music ministry.