Preston A. Davis, M.Div. ’11

Categories: Alums in the World

Preston Davis photoPreston A. Davis, M.Div. ’11

Minister to the University
Chapel and Religious Life Office
High Point University
High Point NC

What do you do?

I am the Minister to High Point University in High Point, North Carolina.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Though I loved being the pastor of a multigenerational congregational church–the role I took on directly after graduating from Union–there is nothing quite like working with college students. By virtue of their age and the season of their lives, they are asking questions that matter the most: what am I called to do with my life? What does a worthy life look like? If I can help them with these questions, while also helping them transcend their own vocational questions to be passionate about making the world a more just and compassionate one, then I’ve I had a good day.

How did Union prepare you for this?

When I think of my Union education, I remember that every class period, every conversation, there was this awareness by everyone that there was something at stake. Theological study was rooted in a passion to address and alleviate suffering in the world, to be an ally to those hurting in our world. While this passion made for an environment that could be heated at times, it was all in the direction of progress. Union helped me to be relevant, to ask questions that matter, to remember that there is something at stake–and to do all this with love for the person and community in front of me.

How have you stayed connected to Union?

In the summer of 2014, I was fortunate to participate in Union’s Millennial Leaders Conference, a gathering of young faith leaders and activists from around the nation. I have made it a priority to give financially to Union each year, even when I don’t have much to offer. The habit is important. I’ve also made it a priority to bring Union to High Point University, so to speak. Union alumni and representatives, such as Eboni Marshall Turman, Raphael Warnock, and President Jones have all been to High Point, helping our students see faith as indelible foundation to being a just and loving actor in the world.

What would you say to someone considering going to Union?

Union prides itself on being a prophetic institution, and it is. Union faculty, staff and students take up this banner. But I think all of this pride comes from a place of humility. The ability to speak prophetically first comes from listening attentively. One must be prepared to listen deeply to one’s classmates, who come from all walks of life. That deep listening becomes invaluable when becoming a faith leader. It is the person who listens to his or her neighbor and to what is sacred who will have something worthy to say, something soul-shifting, when the time finally comes.