“[My work at BUA] helped me realize what it means to be a pastor,” said Ryan Sosa, a freshman student from Corpus Christi. “It is not just being up in the pulpit. It’s also about being around the sheep pens and making sure everything is in order.”

Like many students at Baptist University of the Américas, Ryan is a servant leader on and off campus. He views his custodial tasks as a student worker in the Facilities Department through a pastoral lens.

Ryan explains that when he is cleaning the Bea Mesquias Chapel, he feels like he is taking care of the church. While acknowledging that BUA is a university, he also realizes that a student or guest could walk through the chapel doors and meet Christ. Making sure everything is in meticulous order is his way of creating an environment of worship.

He says his motivation for working at BUA is not driven by earning money but rather by serving people.

Ryan also volunteers with Agape Ministries, the student food and essentials pantry, and serves at his local church, Revolution Church in Selma.

While Ryan’s servant leadership roles are shaping his perspectives about being a pastor, so are the people and classes at BUA.

He chose to double major in Bible/Theology and Business Leadership. He describes his Theology classes as a place where people come to the table to share perspectives and have their doctrine informed by one another and professors who are scholars in their field.

The Business program is equipping Ryan to run a church one day and engage with the community. Ryan says his business courses are teaching him how to work with others to accomplish things.

Perhaps the most defining influence at BUA is the people. Ryan struggles with anxiety and depression. He says BUA has been a game changer for him academically and personally.

“As soon as I walk in BUA, I am greeted by people that I am friends with. It makes the anxiety go away. It shows the power of God here. I believe He is among the people. Everyone is different and shows Christ in a different lighting,” said Ryan, comparing the BUA family to a diamond that radiates light in different ways when turned.

Being appreciated every day, even for things like cleaning the bathrooms, encourages him to continue serving with excellence.

BUA leadership also acknowledges Ryan’s service through personal encouragement and affirmation. It means a lot to him, and he says he hopes to emulate the leadership he sees at BUA when he becomes a pastor.

BUA is shaping servant leaders like Ryan. To learn more about studying at BUA, click here.

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