By: Deanna Joy Longjohn
From the moment I stepped off of the plane in Arizona, I knew it was going to be a transformational week.
I was there to attend Areté Academy, a weeklong training program hosted by Alliance Defending Freedom that combines biblical worldview training with specialized professional development.
When I arrived at the hotel and met my fellow delegates, I immediately felt the Lord’s presence in the lecture hall. During the first evening’s commissioning dinner, I quickly felt at home amongst fellow Christians with the same passion for excellence for the Lord. My fellow delegates quickly became my Areté family.
Each of the lecturers spoke on issues that all of the delegates were passionate about. The talks were intriguing and formational to my thinking about each topic.
What really impressed me, however, was the emphasis placed on committing everything we do to the Lord. From the devotion and worship time every morning to the prayers for every meal, the entire week was really about God.
Before walking into the week, I had always desired to help fight human trafficking in some capacity. While I was learning from the speakers and my fellow delegates, I quickly saw that I had been striving to achieve on my own merit. I was placing work before the Lord. Areté helped me to see that work has been created by God for us to help take part in His creation. Our careers are a gift from God. He allows us to take part in His work. This realization gives more weight to the quality and the effort we put into our profession.
Living the Areté life is about striving for excellence because we want to honor the Lord and bring Him the glory.
Areté is not only a weeklong conference; it is a community. The friends I made there have become people that encourage me, pray for me, and hold me accountable to my goals. The community is constantly in prayer for one another and is always looking for a way to help a brother or sister in Christ achieve excellence for Him.
If you are reading this blog post, unsure of whether to apply for the Arête Academy, I strongly urge you to apply. If you want to serve the Lord with your life and career and do not know the best way to do that, Areté has the answers.
While I have been pursuing the Areté life, the Lord has been changing and redirecting my path to best serve Him. Areté has changed my life not just academically but also spiritually and relationally. The Areté Academy can make that difference in your life as well.
Apply by January 29, 2019 for consideration in this summer’s program.