Hobgood Enjoys the Collision of life and Learning at Mount Olive College

MOUNT OLIVE – Many college students look at their senior research project (SRP) as another burden standing in the way of graduation.  Not so for Josh Hobgood, a senior majoring in religion at University of Mount Olive.  Hobgood, of Winterville, NC, has been interested in studying religion since the age of 14 when he read Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis.

“That book changed my life,” Hobgood expressed, “It allowed me to look at Christianity for myself when I was still very young.”

When it came time to make his college selection, University of Mount Olive was an easy choice for Hobgood who’s father, Ronnie, is pastor at LaGrange Free Will Baptist Church.

“I would not trade my Free Will Baptist upbringing for anything. I have been given a firm foundation that I have continued to build upon here at University of Mount Olive. The beautiful part of it all is that this is just the beginning of my journey towards a life following Christ.”

Now, in his senior year, Hobgood is diving deep into his studies and working hard to complete his SRP.

“I chose do my SRP on Saint Bonaventure, a 13th century theologian and philosopher,” Hobgood said.

The theme for his SRP is contemplation; a subject Hobgood relates to personally. “I have contemplated and made many tough decisions this year and am still working through some. I don’t think it is random that the best year of my life, to date, has been full of some of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make.”

On the most influential element of his studies, Hobgood believes is that studying religion has broadened his perspective for all of life’s situations.

“The most important thing I have gained is to understand something before I judge, change, or respond to it. So many things could be solved in our world today if people truly were aware of the problems before they sought to act in response to it,” Hobgood voiced.

Hobgood admits that education is not the only gift he has received while attending college, “University of Mount Olive has been more than just an education for me; it has given me a place to belong, bringing new family into my life. The friends I have made here will last for the rest of my life.”

Out of the classroom Hobgood enjoys participating in Collide, a new campus ministry.   As a leader of Collide, Josh helps direct music and plays guitar for the worship band.

“This ministry is about real people with real lives colliding with a real God,” Josh expressed. “I love the heart of Collide and I try to live by it daily.”

After graduation, Josh plans to attend Wake Forest University and work towards a master of Divinity degree, and hopefully, one day obtain his Ph. D. No matter what his future holds, Hobgood feels prepared to take on any challenge.

“The beauty of my education at University of Mount Olive is that I have learned to be happy with where I am currently in life. I hope to be in ministry in some way, whether that is teaching as a professor or being a pastor. Either way, I am confident that the foundation I have gained here will carry me to a bright future.”

Josh is the son of Ronnie and Mitzi Hobgood of LaGrange, NC, and he has one sister, Jessica Moss.

University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The College, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Goldsboro, Research Triangle Park, Washington and Jacksonville.  For more information, visit www.moc.edu.