No matter where you go, there will always be nice buildings and programs. But you can’t replicate or fabricate the community that Concordia is built on.
Community has always been important to Matthew Murphy. “Before I came to Concordia, I was training to be a firefighter. My parents really pushed me into active service, and I was a paid volunteer for a fire station for a few years before coming here.” During his time at the fire station, Matthew realized that it was not the type of community he was looking for. “The dominant attitude there was basically that you could treat people terribly until you felt like stopping.”
Matthew’s compassion and awareness of the situation at the fire station made him realize that he wanted a job in which he would be regularly caring for people. “I’ve always said that I want to save people by saving souls or saving lives, and I’ve always enjoyed learning about philosophy and theology.” Matthew found that he could do both of these things by becoming a Director of Christian Education (DCE). “Being a DCE entails creating a cradle-to-grave sequence of education. One hundred percent of people need faith 100% of the time.” Matthew found that the best way to learn to create this environment was by going to Concordia Nebraska. “Obviously, when I decided to become a DCE, I realized I would have to go to one of the Concordias, but I chose Nebraska specifically because it has the largest and most thriving DCE program.”
Even though Matthew found that coming to Concordia was the best choice for him, he still had concerns about his social life. “I transferred in as a junior, and I was living off-campus, so I was worried I would have trouble integrating and getting to know people. Matthew states that even though this was the case, he was readily accepted. "I've been involved in every theatre production that has happened, I’m in A Cappella and I’m the representative for the Curtain Club on the student senate.” Matthew does not, however, attribute these accomplishments to himself. “The community welcomed me with open arms. I would describe Concordia’s community as a blanket with an open weave. It does a good job of keeping you warm and holding you there, but it can expand and invite other people in as well. It’s in this kind of community where I’ve been able to make lifelong friends.”
Matthew wants to go forth from this community at Concordia to create his own community in other places. “Eventually, I would want to work in an outdoor ministry at a camp somewhere. I’ve found it to be one of the most impactful environments for ministry.” But for next year at least, I’m going to be doing my internship at Anchorage Lutheran Church in Alaska. After that, I’ll see where God’s plans take me.”