Chris Smith headshot

Boyce College Director of Student Development Moving into Local Church Ministry Role in Atlanta, GA

Ana Lee — May 28, 2024

My first impression of Dr. Smith was his greeting at the very beginning of a Dorm Meeting. At the utterance of “It’s time for some announcements,” the chapel was filled with applause and cheers. Chris spoke about events happening that week, made a lighthearted joke about his theologian-inspired beard, and then, as I would grow accustomed to, gave gentle and pastoral encouragement to students as the semester began. 

After the laughter subsided, Chris had a way of choosing the exact moment of shifting from his cheerful and beloved teasing of familiar students into a very quiet, genuine tone; “These days won’t last forever in your life. And I’m grateful to be here to be the one to encourage you to hold tightly to them and urge you to be all-in while you’re here. Because there’s no place in the world like Boyce College.” As one of the many who heard this charge consistently from Smith, I can attest this steady encouragement shaped my college experience to be some of the sweetest and most impactful years of my life.

His individual and family investment in the structures promoted and protected the unique student life experience of Boyce College from devolving into a vague and misaligned living environment for thousands of students who have called this campus their home. In reflecting on the value Smith has brought to Boyce College, Dr. Dustin Bruce, Dean of Boyce College, said, Few people in Boyce College’s history can be credited with truly shaping the unique culture of the student life experience akin to the impact Chris Smith had.” From meetings with board members, trustees, faculty, colleagues, student leaders, and countless conversations with students, Chris Smith has been sacrificially investing in the Boyce College community. He’s seen students through their darkest moments, provided leadership and careful guidance to hundreds of student leaders, thousands of students, and–maybe more than anything else–-has been a faithful and prayerful friend and brother. 

Smith will never see the full result of his efforts on this campus on this side of eternity. However, the impact of his faithful investment in our students and tenacious commitment to urge students to treasure every moment of their college experience and sanctification during these years is an unmistakable mark on the very culture of Boyce Student Life and will carry on for generations to come. 

As Smith steps into his next role, he will be joining the growing team at Christ Covenant Church in Atlanta, GA, where Southern Seminary alum Jason Dees serves as Senior Pastor. Chris will be stepping into a Young adult ministry, an area Christ Covenant’s leadership “feels burdened to deploy into ministry in the church, in the city, and around the world.” Smith will be stepping into a leadership and development role over various programs in the church specifically focused on investing in building the Kingdom through investment into the next generation of leaders within the Church, and specifically those in the Atlanta area at Christ Covenant.

“This wasn’t an easy decision, because my family and I love this community,” ​​Smith remarked that the most unique quality of the Boyce College culture is the willingness with which students love. They love one another, their education, their professors, and “I know they will love whoever steps into this role next.” As Chris and I sat in my office and talked about some of the memories that have been most significant to him, he talked about the friendships he’s developed with Jeff Hunter, Dustin Bruce, Jason Leverett, and countless student leaders who have served him and his family, prayed for them through good times and bad, and the impact their example has had on his own spiritual walk. 

I asked Chris if he had a final word to the students of Boyce College, and he said, “if I have carried or preserved the Boyce College culture, it’s your turn.” Smith said his hope is that students would “be shaped by suffering, live wholehearted, and hold fast.” Holding the very culture of a place like Boyce College in your influence is a weighty responsibility and one that Smith has carried for years, and is now entrusting to the living legacy of the college–the students. Entrusting the very heart of Boyce College–its culture–to both the students and faculty, and their ability to welcome whoever steps into the role of Director of Student Development next.

Are you ready to become a pastor, counselor, or church leader who is Trusted for Truth?

Apply now for fall studies

Classes begin in August