The youth group from Michael Memorial Baptist Church was on their way to a summer camp in Wilmore, Kentucky. Casey Boss was in between 10th and 11th grade then. When they passed by Louisville, one of her youth pastors asked if she’d considered attending Boyce College.
She hadn’t. Really, she hadn’t even heard of Boyce Collge. That moment, however, proved more than a passing comment or side conversation. With that inquiry, her pastor influenced the rest of Boss’s life. “I didn’t know there was a school like this just for ministry,” Boss said in a recent interview with Southern Seminary Magazine. “I didn’t even know women could work in a church, didn’t know what that would look like.”
Boss was heavily involved at Michael Memorial in Gulfport, Mississippi, and as she approached the end of high school, she asked the kinds of questions high schoolers do. Questions like, “What do I want to do with my life?”
“The Lord was really doing a work in my life and using people to advance his plan in me,” she described. “When I saw people who were pouring into me, I naturally was feeling like I wanted to help people. But I knew I didn’t want to work for an organization and just meet physical needs; I wanted to help meet spiritual needs.”
Of the endless options, Boss says serving in the local church was the only thing that sparked her interest.
After summer camp, and after the start of her junior year of high school, Boss and her family flew up to Louisville to visit Boyce College. It didn’t take long for the 150-yearold campus to make an indelible impression.
“Right when I stepped on campus, there was a sense of peace,” Boss remembered. “And I just knew the Lord was calling me there.”
Boss will tell you she can summarize what Boyce College taught her in two things: how to love other people well and the importance of the local church. The local church is what connected what Boss learned at Boyce with her desire to work in ministry. Shortly after arriving at Boyce, she began an internship at Highview Baptist Church, working with girls in the youth group. And Highview is where her desire moved from an idea to a calling.
“The Lord just started crafting my call by my local church at Highview and putting me in a place where I wouldn’t be happy just going to an eight-to-five job anywhere.”
As for how to love others, Boss thinks that might be the most lasting lesson she received. Because the lesson didn’t just come from the classroom — though it did come in the classroom — it came from her diving headlong into the life of the college. She lived on Dikaios Hall, and professor David DeKlavon and his wife were her hall parents. Relationships she formed with faculty members such as the DeKlavons, Greg and Holly Brewton, and former professor Heath Lambert define the Boyce College experience, Boss said. And they shaped her view of ministry as much as what she learned in the classroom.
“Right when I stepped on campus, there was a sense of peace. And I just knew the Lord was calling me there.”
“What stands out is just being able to go into a class and having a professor pour into you, not only because it’s his job but because it’s his life and he cares,” Boss said. “I’m constantly telling people to go to Boyce College because of the professors and their lives. I tell people how they’ll invite you over for a meal and they will love you and they genuinely want to spend time with you.”
After graduating from Boyce College, Boss joined the Highview staff as girls minister, a role in which she served for four years. And in 2016, she moved to Birmingham, Alabama, to work as an associate student minister for the Church at Brook Hills. There, she leads girls from sixth to 12th grade and ministers to their families. Her education led her into the local church, and in the local church she gets to apply what she learned during her education.
“Boyce College taught me how to love people well. It taught me that there shouldn’t be this distance between you and the people to whom you’re ministering.”