News. Politics. Scoop. Insider. Legislation. Mayor. Voting. Corruption. Death. Crime.

I am a Christian reporter covering the third largest city-county metro in the state of Tennessee and my time at Trevecca prepared me for my first job out of school in Jackson, Tenn., and continues to help me at my job at the Knoxville News Sentinel.

I have written about elections, uncovered political scandal, seen death and destruction of a forest fire and written about a 2-year-old boy who got lost in the woods and never came home.

It can be a foreign concept: why would a Christian train for and live in a world so drained of meaning and character especially in the new era of “fake news?”

That question is best answered a couple different ways.

First, the school’s liberal arts, you’re-going-to-take-these-courses-whether-you-like-it-or-not options equipped me to do my work better than I anticipated.

I better understand city budgets because of business and math courses (that I hated then and don’t remember fondly today). I better understand and can better write the stories of people who live in poverty or are pushed to the edges of our society because of challenging religion courses that changed my way of thinking about my neighbor. I fit into a newsroom that respects, but often does not share, my beliefs because I learned how to preach the gospel with my actions (and words occasionally) while at Trevecca.

Secondly, I learned from a real, living and breathing journalist, Jo Ellen Weedman, who challenged me, taught me well and gave me the freedom to lead a staff of writers with the TrevEchoes, which taught me people and time management skills that I’m still using.

But there’s a part of my job that I didn’t learn in any one classroom or during any commencement speech, and I never sat back and reflected on it until after covering tragedy.

A Christian liberal arts education gave me the know-how, but it was the grace-filled teaching and Christian community that challenged me and prepared me for the difficult assignments I’m asked to write from time to time.

A newsroom might be a funny place to find a Christian. But I don’t see it that way. I was instructed to be Christ’s hands and feet, all Trevecca graduates are. I wasn’t shown where to go, but rather, who to be. I get to do that in an industry and a place that needs it, and I’ve never not been prepared.