June 1, 2024 by

Hey guys! My name is Carson Lopes, and I am a junior here at Cedarville University. I’m currently working through two different programs at Cedarville, earning my undergraduate degree in business management, while beginning to take classes for my Master of Divinity! Though quite different focuses, I decided to study these areas when I realized I deeply wanted to pursue working with church plants in the Salt Lake City area. That’s my future aspirations, but I’d like to walk you through my current routine as a student at Cedarville, showing you behind the scenes of the different areas I’m involved in! If you’d like to join me, I’d love to walk you through a day in my life. 

7:15 a.m. 

I wake up at 7:15 a.m. to the sound of my alarm on the other side of the room, flop to my feet, and then gain enough consciousness to realize it’s a Thursday! Thursdays, though quite packed, are one of my favorite days because of the number of different activities I am able to accomplish. 

I begin by making my way through my Lawlor unit (shoutout to the best dorm on campus), to take a shower and prep for the day. After getting myself ready, I brew a cup of coffee and wake up some of the guys for Thursday morning devotions! 

8 a.m. 

We all make our way over to the dining hall at about 8 a.m., where we grab breakfast, discuss different takeaways from our devotions and reading, and then pray and read through our different devotions independently. Starting my day like this, though quite early, is truly the greatest encouragement and deeply impacts the posture of my day through immediately centering on Christ. 

9 a.m. 

After morning devotions, I zip over to the Jeremiah Chapel to save seats for my “bro/sis.” A bro/sis is a yearlong “collaboration” between a male dorm RA (me) and a female dorm RA (my friend Emma), where we bring our units together to participate in events, grab meals, and worship together! We all sit on the left side of the chapel, on what’s known as the “left waterfall,” which gives us a pretty sick view of the chapel stage. 

Though the guys and I only have breakfast devotions together once a week, we are able to gather for chapel as a bro/sis Monday-Friday, an incredible start to the day. It was actually just earlier this semester, spring of 2024, that we had one of the most stacked schedules of chapel speakers I have ever experienced! The first two days, Sam Alberry spoke on a series called “The Real Jesus,” then the following day he taught a sermon titled “The Real Sinners.” Wednesday and Thursday Trevin Wax came and spoke on “The Unfolding of Temptation” and “The Unfolding of Sin’s Consequences.” The week ended with Dr. White’s sermon series on Romans. 

To be able to learn from and connect with such incredibly gifted believers and theologians is such a blessing, and this particular week this semester impacted me deeply. Because of the intentionality of chapel speakers, I was able to meet Sam Alberry and have a casual conversation with him. Also, I can now check “have a conversation with Sam Alberry” off my bucket list. 

11 a.m. 

After chapel, I stroll over to the Stevens Student Center (the SSC, as students call it) where I grab a seat in the computer labs to kill some time from 11 a.m.–12 p.m., typically taking a quiz or catching up with an old friend. As 11:50 rolls around, I head upstairs to give a tour to any visiting guests at noon! 

12 p.m. 

At the beginning of the tour, we get to know each other through some introductions, then dive into the core of the tour, a big cruise around campus! We walk through most of the major academic buildings, and I get to talk about the super cool elements of this place, plus the memories I have here that have impacted and shaped me most. I genuinely feel so blessed to work this job, as I simply get to talk about a passion of mine and a place where I can visibly and tangibly see God working and invite others to share in that same experience! If you’re interested in visiting, I’d genuinely love to give you a tour! Schedule a visit on our Admissions Office’s web page. 

Carson Lopes and the tour guide team.

1 p.m. 

At 1 p.m., I head over to Rinnova Coffee to have a casual meeting with the Resident Director of my dorm, Andrew McKay. Andrew and I grab coffee and chat once a week, diving into conversations about different ways in which we are, and can be, seeking to disciple others and be discipled by others. Seeing these meetings play out reminds me weekly that we aren’t in this life alone, but have other Christ-seeking believers surrounding us to encourage us. What I mean by that is that I have people around me, my friends, who I’m seeking to pour into and be poured into by, and I have people above me, Andrew and my mentor, who pour into me. Both of those groups have people who pour into them. Every level of this University is in a position of serving and being served, being poured into and pouring out, discipling and making disciples. To be able to participate in this process in this environment is such a daily encouragement. 

2 p.m. 

After our meeting, my “school life” finally begins (that is, more than the quick homework break mentioned earlier). From 2–3:15 p.m., I head to International Business class, where we study the global market and analyze different strategic methods of planting a “business as mission” (BAM) company in another country. Though sometimes complex in nature, the methods we study and the depth of research we dive into leave us feeling highly prepared to approach the task of taking a company to an international level. 

3:30 p.m. 

When my class ends, I pack up my books and laptop and head over to the Center for Biblical and Theological Studies (the BTS, as students call it). It’s here that I take my favorite class this semester, Old Testament 2: Former Prophets. 

This course is one of the classes for my MDiv studies, and it holds a uniquely different feel from most of my other classes. Because this is an upper-level course. the professor holds a confident level of trust in the students. He tasks us with reading and analyzing a section of the former prophet books (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings), then we gather together as he walks us through inter-textual connections while we discuss our takeaways with the class. Sometimes he affirms and utilizes our takeaways, and sometimes he lovingly corrects them, but we are deeply and rapidly learning how to outline biblical narratives and notice large-scale themes in the Bible. 

The best part is, our primary assignment for the class is to progressively work on an outline of the former prophets with information compiled from discussions, personal takeaways, lessons, footnotes, and commentaries so that, when we finish this class, we will have a sermon guide to reference for the remainder of our lives. The class is directly aiding our lifelong ministry in an incredibly unique manner. 

Thursday Evenings 

As the evening rolls around, the fun and games begin. I’ll typically grab dinner with the guys, and then after I either have an intramural game or go share the Gospel with some local universities in the nearby area, depending on the week. 

On intramural weeks, I head to the Callan Athletic Center to play a game of racquetball with my girlfriend, Ella.  After we finish our game, I head over to our other gymnasium where my friends and I play a game of intramural dodgeball. We’re all competing in the B league, so it’s a bit chill. Everyone is giving their all, but we’re entirely about the fun of the game rather than the “perfect winning streak” mentality. After the game, the guys and I head back to the dorm in the late evening, right when dorm life really begins to pick up.  

On nights when I visit local universities, I zip back over to the SSC, where CU Outreach gathers to discuss our game plan for the night. This ministry, CU Outreach, is a team of students who drive over to Wright State University to connect with the students there and share the Gospel, should doors open to have that conversation. Our primary goal is to love others through modeling Christ, and see His name declared in areas away from the comfort of our school. We drive to the WSU campus, then head out in pairs of two to meet students. We walk around campus for a couple hours, either joining on-campus Christian orgs and Bible study groups or sharing the Gospel with others on campus. 

Cedarville University outreach team at Wright State University.

After this, we circle up and write the names of the people we talked to and a brief summary of the conversation so that we can continue to be in prayer for the people through the months to come. The privilege of living the Great Commission in this capacity is such an incredible blessing, and to be able to share the Gospel alongside these amazing believers is the most incredible opportunity. After we circle up and share the Gospel for a few hours, we drive back to campus and head back to our dorms. I get back in the late evening, right when dorm life really begins to pick up. 

Carson Lopes debriefing with his team after an outreach event.

Some nights the guys in my dorm and I will work on homework together. Other nights we’ll play video games or watch a movie, but most nights we’ll just chat. We talk about our day, our devotions, or whatever topic we feel like chatting about that evening. Sometimes, the topic doesn’t really play a big role in our conversation. It’s simply the fact that we’re here for each other and spending time with one another. The blessing of this group of Christ-seeking guys is something I don’t feel like I’ll ever fully see the depth of impact from, but for now, I’m overwhelmingly grateful for each one of them. 

There you have it, one page from the 1,000 pages of a student’s time here at Cedarville. I hope that as you have seen what my routine looks like you didn’t think about the things I’m involved in and doing, but rather the things you could grow to be involved in and do! Maybe you’ll end up pursuing some similar areas, or maybe you’ll walk in a totally different direction than I did, but either way, I hope this was a helpful resource. 

I want you to know that whether you are a student considering attending Cedarville or an alumnus looking back at your time here, we are praying for you. You are loved, first and foremost by the Father, then secondly by the believers here at Cedarville. We are praying for you to grow in Him and trust in Him through whatever major decisions and circumstances life is bringing before you right now. Cling to Him, and He will direct your steps. 

Proverbs 3:5–6 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight. 

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