Every fall and spring, year after year, new students come to The Master’s University for the first time. This academic year ushered in the largest group of incoming students the school has seen in years. The shady seats under a large oak tree by King Hall, the gym and the stairs to the cafeteria have become familiar over the past few months.
But standing in those same places back when it was still called The Master’s College, a young, tattooed and recently saved Jason Beals would find he was called to serve the Lord in a special way.
When Beals first came to The Master’s College in August of 96, he had been saved since March. At a funeral for one of his cousins, Beals began to wrestle with what it meant to be saved. He no longer believed that simply saying a prayer was all he needed to do; a cousin had said the same prayer and Beals didn’t think he had truly believed.
This began a two-week search that ended with Beals crying out to the Lord to save him. From there, Beals looked for a place where he could be around fellow believers and grow in his understanding of God. He was recommended the then-called The Master’s College. He was accepted and moved to the west coast in time for classes.
Arriving without a major that August, Beals had very little biblical knowledge beyond Sunday school stories. While others were well versed in Christian thought, he was still learning the basics.
“I did know one thing, that I wanted to grow,” he says.
Every week Beals progressed in his understanding and commitment to the Lord. Because of this he naturally gravitated toward the Bible department and to professors such as Dr. Will Varner.
The first class that Beals ever attended on The Master’s College campus was Dr. Varner’s first time teaching a class. They quickly grew a bond as he learned that they shared a background in New Jersey. Over the break, Beals remained in town and met the son of another new professor, the two quickly became good friends over that week. With some encouragement, Beals became a Bible major the next semester.
During his time at the school, Beals became a RA and a leader on several short-term missions trips. These positions forced him to preach to small groups and open the Bible in different ways. This instilled in Beals an idea of ministry.
He then got involved in youth ministry, continued to lead small groups, and finally his elders and pastors recommended he think about doing ministry full time.
Already knowing that he enjoyed ministry, he applied for seminary and was accepted. During his second year at the seminary he was hired as the college pastor at his local church, later he added international missions to his other work. While overseas, Beals substituted teaching Greek at The Master’s International Academy.
When Beals returned from his missions he got in touch with his old professors who he had kept in contact with all these years. Dr. Halstead was the first to speak with Beals about his desire to teach and urged him to apply to The Master’s College. With this recommendation, Beals was hired as an adjunct professor teaching Wednesday night New Testament Survey I and II.
In 2017, Beals was hired full-time in the position that he still holds today. His teaching has been a blessing to many students, and that is what Beals wants to continue doing for years to come.
“I was so impacted by my professor that I want to be that same positive impact,” Beals says.
Through teaching, Beals not only has the great opportunity to minister to a new generation, but he through teaching, he continues to learn things that he would never have known otherwise.
“There’s that excitement of discovery,’ he says, “I get to do that for my job.”